EKAANTHA SEETHA... a lonely furrow (2006) (Collaboration)

Ekaantha Seetha - a true dance drama, with dance, music and drama as intrinsic components. To celebrate the completion of fifteen years of service to the arts, Cleveland Cultural Alliance premiered its latest production Ekaantha Seetha...A lonely furrow, at the Music Academy, Chennai, on Sept 12, 2006.

Producer Uma Ganesan's choice of subject for Ekaantha Seetha was inspired by newspaper reports about women from small towns who cope with alcoholic husbands, struggle to educate their children and support themselves financially. It is a celebration of women of extraordinary courage and character from the epics, history and contemporary realities through dance and music. It spans three different time zones – the first episode is based on Ramayana's Vaidehi as the "Veera Arya Kanya," the second on historic Rani Lakshmi Bai and the third on a modern day heroine Aparajita.

The production's dance styles and music ranges from the highly classical to folk, from evocative ragams to martial rhythms, from foreign adversaries to village bullies and from uplifting moments to rustic humor. In line with its protagonists, the languages used in the production includes Valmiki's Sanskrit, the Hindi of Tulsidas and Subhadhra Chauhan and India's most recent language, English. TV Gopalakrishnan has maintained Classicism throughout - Carnatic music for Vaidehi, Hindustani for Lakshmi Bai and a more contemporary mode and use of pentatonic ragas for Aparajita."

The Dhananjayans and Rathna actively communicate with the audience in their colorful roles as musicians, narrators and dancers, using both English and Indian languages.

Choreography - The Dhananjayans
Music Composer - Professor T.V.Gopalakrishnan
Script concept and outline - Ranjitha Ashok
Costume Designer - Lakshmi Srinath
Set Designer - Lakshmi Krishnamurthy
Stage manager and technical director - Nambu Kumar

Dancers - Rathna Kumar, Sreelatha Vinod, Sujatha Srinivasan, Pavithra Srinivasan, M.Suhasini, Anusha Natarajan, Seetha Sasidharan, Krishnakshi Sharma, Swarna, Gopukiran, Madhusudhanan, Narendra Kumar, Renjith Babu, Thiruchelwam, Venkatakrishnan.

Ekaantha Seetha is dedicated to S Manjubhashini, freedom fighter and founder of Bala Mandir, a children's home in Chennai, in this her centenary year.

"This really is a big production to be staged in almost 30 major cities. We have performances for both Indian and American organizations and universities. We are looking forward to the tour and having toured all these places abroad, with our Sanghamitra, Sitaraama Katha, Mahaabhaarata, Jungle Book etc and our duo Bharatanaatyam performances, of course, we are eager to know the reaction to this different kind of concept from us - the Dhananjayans. Definitely there will be mixed opinions but, we are always open to criticism."

"Basically the choreographed pieces (classical sequences) are by us, but I did give freedom to the artistes to organize the factory scene, assembly line and Tappaattam for celebration of a small town. All those casual street scenes are the contribution of the artistes."

EKAANTHA SEETHA... a lonely furrow - Reviews - Photo Album