Dec 152010

A group of ATICC supporters gathered in the home of Artistic Director Hanna Bondarewska on Monday, for an introduction to the works of Rabindranath Tagore. The Indian Nobel laureate’s Karna and Kunti will be performed as part of the upcoming ATICC production, Under the Shadow of Wings, and was read, along with his one-act play Chitra. The two works are based on the Sanskrit epic: the Mahabharata.
Karna and Kunti, a dialogue poem, depicts an encounter between Karna, commander of the Kaurav army and the illegitimate child of Kunti, the matriarch of the rival Pandava clan. Kunti attempts to bring him back into her care in order to keep his army from crushing that of her five legitimate sons.
James was impressed with its universal themes. “It’s amazing that within such a tight number of words, there are these epic thoughts, value systems, the type of thing that everyone has across cultures…. I’ve just never encountered it in Indian literature before.”
Chitra tells the story of Chitra, the first female and only heir in a line of males, disguising herself in order to win the affections of Arjuna, one of Kunti’s sons. Steve appreciated the ideas it shared with Karna and Kunti as well as its dramatic tension.
“Both works are about people hiding themselves, they’re both asking, ‘What will the other person do when he finds out?’” he said. “The whole time Chitra is saying, ‘what will he do, he won’t love me.’ Even up to the last sentence she doesn’t know what [Arjuna’s] response will be.”
Tagore’s language was praised by all, with a particular passage from Chitra standing out:
“Heaven and earth, time and space, pleasure and pain, death and life merged together in an unbearable ecstasy.”

 Posted by at 5:16 pm

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