Arjun and Pallavi, Here is the electronic announcement of this week's
Kathak program. I would appreciate it if you publicise it in your
electronic mailing lists.
V I K R A M A D I T Y A
Dance Drama in Kathak
Friday, Oct 7, 7pm Smith Hall
(805 S. Matthews)
This colorful dance drama in Kathak depicts the legend of
Chandragupta II (373 - 413 AD) who also went by the title
"Vikramaditya" is a joint project between
The Indian Classical Dance Society (Washington D.C)
The Natya Academy of Kathak and Choreography (Bangalore)
and choreographed by Asha Vattikuti and Maya Rao. The drama
was premiered in the Fall of 1993, based on a recently
discovered script by classical poet-dramatist Vishakha-dutta
from 6th century A.D.
The Gupta period of 4th and 5th centuries is often called the
"classical period" as well as the "golden age" of Indian
history when the arts and literature of India reached their
epic heights. During this period, Ramayana and Mahabharata
took their final form, most of the puranas were completed, and
the masterpieces of Ajanta caves were created, while the
famous poet Kalidasa adorned the court of Chandragupta II.
The drama depicts the life and culture of this period. The
play of Vishakha-dutta, titled "Devi-Chandraguptam" is woven
around the story of the prince Chandra's ascendancy to the
throne of India.
"On the death of Samudra Gupta, hos elder son Prince Rama
Gupta declared himself the king and married the princess
Dhruva Devi, thus usurping the throne from Chandra - the
chosen heir. Soon after, Rama Gupta marched against the
powerful Saka king Rudra Sena of Malwa. He was surrounded
by the Saka forces and agreed to a treaty under which he
would offer his queen to the Saka king in return for his
safety. It was upto the valiant prince Chandra to rescue
the Gupta queen and the mighty Gupta empire with his cunning
The drama is the product of a long and extensive research, not
only in collecting the data on the authenticity of the story,
but also on the cultural aspects of the Gupta period. It was
performed in Washington D. C., Clevaland, Pittsburgh, Ottawa
and Montreal and was highly acclaimed.
Maya Rao is a director of international repute, who has
received numerous honors including the National Academy of
Dance and Music award, Sangeet Natak Academy Award for
choreography, and the Karnata State Award for eminence in
kathak and choreography. As the director of the Natya Academy
of Kathak and Choreography, she has choreographed over 50
ballets such as "Amir Khusro", "Hoyasala Vaibhav", "Surdas"
etc and has led several cultural delegations to foreign
countries on behalf of the Ministry for Culture. The cast of
the drama includes several of her students and former
students, Madhu Nataraj, L. Nirupama, T. D. Satyanaraya
Raju, who have distinguished themselves through performances
in various parts of India.
Asha Vattikuti is a pioneer of Kathak ballet in North America.
She is the founder of Indian Classical Dance Society in
Greater Washington D.C. and the director of several ballets
such as "Chitrangada", "Prem Katha" and "Megh Dut".
"Vikramaditya" was developed by her with the help of leading
historians and in collaboration with Maya Rao.
Brought to you by Indian Cultural Society of Champaign-Urbana.