It's Buddha Jayanthi, and there's much more to it than just Lord Buddha. Tonite, one of his disciples performs live!
On the occasion of Buddha Jayanti celebrations, the Department of Tourism is organising a Kuchipudi dance ballet called Amrapali, by Maddali Usha Gayathri and group, this Tuesday evening, at the Lalithakala Thoranam in Public Gardens, Nampally.
Usha Gayathri as Lord Buddha, along with Abhirami as Amrapali, Katyayani as Bimbisara, Shreya and Meghana as court dancers, Sarvaripriya, Ramyapriya, Ramyaveni, Ramya Ravali, Pranathi and Ruhi as sakhis, and Susheela, Anusha, Anisha, Shruthi and Medha as bikshus, will take part in the ballet.
The ballet is choreographed and directed by Maddali Usha Gayathri, and written by Vaddepally Krishna, and supported by Pasumarti Seshubabu, Sampath, Shruthi Sharma and Srikaustuba for nattuvangam and vocal, Rayaprolu Sudhakar on the veena, Sridharacharya on the mridangam, Anil Kumar on the violin and Venkatesh on the flute. The lighting and sets are designed by Surabhi Kishore and make-up is by Verma and Reddy.
Amrapali is a mysterious, beautiful dancer who one day appears at the mango groves (Amavara) of Vaishali, and hence was named Amrapali. She becomes the Raj Nartaki of Vaishali by winning the royal dance competitions. The king of the neighbouring Magadha state Ajatashatru wages a war on Vaishali and gets defeated. On the run from the enemies, Ajatashatru disguises as a Vaishali soldier and takes refuge at Amrapali's house. Gradually, both of them fall in love.
After getting treated of his wounds, he along with his senapati hatch a plan and defeat the army of Vaishali. The king of Vaishali comes to know of Amrapali giving refuge to Ajatashatru and gets enraged. He summons and condemns her to imprisonment for life. Furious at this, Ajatashatru again wages a war a burns the city without sparing anybody's life. Broken by the bloodshed and beastly nature of men, Amrapali dedicates her life by preaching Buddhism, in the presence of Lord Buddha. Amrapali has earned the distinction of being the only female Bikshu of Buddha.
The entry to the ballet is free. For further details, please contact the Department of Tourism at 2345-3110.