Sillu - A short story transformed into solo free style narrative dance
Prof. Udyavara Madhava Acharya of Udupi, Karnataka, a noted Kannada short story writer, choreographer and director of dance dramas presented a solo ballet under the auspices of Prastapa, a Kannada literary group in New Jersey, USA on 29th July 2007. He adopted one of his stories "Seelu Bidirina Sillu" into an innovative free style ballet. The theme was Shri Krishna's last phase of Avatara.
Prof Acharya's performance of course does not belong to any specific form of classical dance (he is only a theatre person as he confessed). He attempted the feasibility of theatrical presentation of a short story, using simple and minimal dance gestures and moods. He relied heavily on free but artistic movement of the body as well as expressions to convey the intricate moods of the story.
Sillu" literally translated as "Shrill of the broken pipe" depicts the
sorrow felt by Krishna while playing the flute, although his devotees feel
utmost melody in the sound. In essence, the story contains a revelation
by Krishna himself of humane success and failure of an Avatara purusha's
spiritual mission on this earth to his ardent devotee Uddhava on the sea
shore at Prabhasa. In the story, Prof. Acharya describes various
stages of Krishna's life – particularly noticeable were the short yet tender
affection he enjoyed in his mother's lap inside the prison as well as outside
the prison in Gokula in the midst of innocent rural folk.
The small gathering
which witnessed this unique attempt later opined in their interaction that
Nevertheless the emotional impact of the production was well received.
Acharya has produced more than 50 different dance dramas and theatrical productions under the banner SAMOOHA. During 2004, he had brought his cultural ensemble to the USA and presented traditional Yakshagana as well as experimental solo presentations – Panchali and Shabari.