This month-end cultural program of the Culture Department will mark the year-end, this time around. And like every month, the department is bringing to the fore theater, music, folk arts and dance. Ravindra Bharathi today reverberated to the sounds of rustic rhythms and shrieks, with the consummate faith of the performers in their gestures, songs and themes coming through.
Hema Kumari, along with her troupe of musicians from the East Godavari district, staged this dying art form 'Burrakatha'. The narrator, Hema Kumari herself, chose the intense drama of 'Bobbili Yuddham', based on the battle between the two princely states, Bobbili and Vijainagaram. In "Tandana Tane Tana Tandana", the chorus singers, Vishwanad and Sreenivasa Rao, complemented the narrator who illustrated the vivid narrative of the events that took place over 300 years ago between Vijayanagaram's Poosapati Vijayaramaraju and Bobbili's Rangarayadu.
The dispute was over an inconsequential matter that led to the former cheating the latter, causing his defeat. However, the end saw both the clans being wiped out! The poignant theme and its lessons remain ever relevant, and were brought out so by Hema Kumari in her simplistic yet bold format, touching the audience in the process.
After this intense Burrakatha, there was yet another and more rustic theater form of the 'Girijans' on stage. This is called the 'Oggu Katha', but it has the poorest of the poor as audience! It is a nice gesture on the part of the state of sponsoring such traditional street theater to encourage the artistes. This Oderu troupe narrated the story of 'Sri Satya Narayana Swamy Vrata Mahatmyam'. It is a popular ritual worship performed on all celebrative occasions.
This five-member group, with rustic percussions, bells and cymbals, narrated and danced with an energetic spirit. Dr Nutan Prasad, former cine actor and the secretary of Ravindra Bharathi, honored the artistes of the evening.