Asia

Embassy of India hosted Geethopadesham Dance

The event promoted cultural diplomacy by merging different traditional dances, from different areas of India, in one single performance

August 02nd, 2019
Sabrina Crosta and Greta Isola, News from Berlin
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The event consisted of an out-of the ordinary performance, as it combined two types of traditional dances, one from the South and the other from the North of India, which are not commonly performed together.

On the 31st of July, at 6pm, the Embassy of India in Berlin hosted a Geethopadesham dance event, that is to say a Yugalbandhi (joint performance) of Kathak and Kathakali dance, with the former being from the North and the latter from the South of India. The two dances are extremely different, and each type was represented by a character in the show. The dance embodied a conversation between a Hindu god, Krishna, and a human being, which are shown in the photo above.

The story behind such dance is a pillar of Indian mythology, and it is based on a particular chapter, which is in fact called Geethopadesham, of the traditional mythology book “Bhadgvadgeeta”. The chapter is focused on the god’s attempt to convince the man, who is the leader of the army, to declare war on his own brothers. The dialogue then focuses on the questions that Krishna poses to the man, asking him what is right and what is wrong, and where the truth lies, in order to convince him to begin the war. The dialogues thus becomes a philosophical one, and its outcome is the resolution of the man to declare war on his brothers, ending with his victory.

This type of dance has been chosen by the embassy because it is one of the most important components of Indian culture, this specific chapter has in fact been employed to expose the German and international audience to this traditional and fundamental aspect of Indian culture, thus operating cultural diplomacy here in Berlin.

References

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