Review of Savitha Sastry’s Yudh

An odd combination to assault senses and sensibility with – depressing fare mixing Bharathanatyam with Satan | A case study in ruining the evening of a dance-music-drama-theater person.

This is not a joke. She wears that black outfit because she is playing Satan. Yudh is about a corny made-up story of a kid whose fate becomes a fight between God and Satan. The story is so stupidly contrived that many reviewers failed to report the storyline accurately.

LEAFLET-Savitha-Sastry-Yudh

At a time, when traditional arts seem to be going without new patrons, I would rather not write negative reviews. As Savitha Sastry’s Yudh seems to be tailor-made for audiences in the West, I guess it is okay to write candidly.

Reviewers in popular newspapers (who typically pick on the slightest missteps in traditional performances) seemed to have been totally sold on this production, going by the quotes put up on cutouts placed around Chowdiah Hall.

My guess is that many of these reviewers are just snobs. They must have assumed that anything that looks ingils-isshtyle must be automatically good. They don’t know that the West (unlike India) does not have any traditional forms of interpretive dance. What they call interpretive dance is a modern invention, hopelessly imitating rich dance forms from more mature cultures such as ours.

Yudh has this this in reverse. It apes Western dance productions. One expects reviewers writing for newspapers to know all this. How can they be without any grounding in the cultural history? Snobs!

WEBPAGE-The-Hindu-Review-of-Savitha-Sastry-s-Yudh

Maybe they are like those African tribesmen in the Jackie Chan movie Armour of God who mistake an aeroplane for some divine power. They imagine that anything that comes from out of this world is great.

Less than hundred people showed up and much of the hall was empty, despite the fact that the program was mentioned in the newspaper event sections for several weeks. The few who came were treated with shocks to their senses. Even I was there by mistake. I mistook Savitha Sastry for Priyadarshini Govind. Recently, my little daughter became very interested in dance and I downloaded several videos for her from Youtube. Among them were performances by Priyadarshini Govind, Savita Sastry, and Rajashree Warrier. All of them were great in their own way but we were all very excited by Priyadarshini Govind’s rendition of Vishamakara Kannan. Many people (Sudha Raghunathan, Anuradha Sriram …) have tried it but Ms. Govind tops them all.

Thus, it was in the hope of catching a longer version of Vishamakara Kannan that I went to Chowdiah Hall that day. I did not pack a camera but I found the “request” (if you can call it that) to not take any photographs extremely discourteous. The introduction mentioned that “Yudh” was about a fight between God and Satan. Much of the audience had assembled there for an evening of sweet Bharatanatyam and they were unprepared for the shocks that were to follow.

Satan? In the thousands of years that Indian civilization has been in existence, there has never been a Satan. Satan is an obsession with Middle-Eastern faiths. It is not Indian. I was appalled that the ancient Indian art form of Bharatanatyam has been brought anywhere near “Satan.” The audience was most certainly jinxed by the betrayal, as revealed by QnA session after the performance. The “writer and producer” AK Srikanth claimed that they wanted the performance to be free of religion. (I wrote in their response slip that they should try to be free from culture as well.) He said they settled on a story that was not tied to Indian mythology. (This works well with Western audiences because they have all been brainwashed by Rothshchild globalists and find their Semitic religion unfashionable.)

The story was a sorry made-up excuse of one. It is vaguely about some girl who becomes lost and gets separated from their parents. She has become the subject of a fight between God and Satan. The plot was indeed very thin. But, the audience was left squirming in their seats for quite a long time. First, it was the Satan voice-over that mocked God and his believers. Then it was the voice-over of the parents which went about in great harrowing detail about groceries, TV noise, and other ills of urban life – stuff that the dance-music-drama-theater crowd had come there to escape from. (Good judgement, AK Srikanth! Bullseye!) The girl did not get re-united with her parents. So, I assume Satan won. Hurray for evil. Yes, life sucks but perhaps it shouldn’t suck as bad as Yudh. During the Q-and-A session after the performance, people were still mystified by the story and what it all meant!

Savitha Sastry is a great dancer but her talents are wasted in this production. She is not alone, as many artists think that following traditions is not viable anymore and that they should try more “fusion” or follow Western styles. (Some months back, I went to a show that combined local Kathak with some foreign death metal rock. The foreign team was talented but their energies were wasted on the ugly form of Western music. I don’t hate Western music. I used listen to a great deal of it in the late 80s and early 90s on the FM. Those days, it was just AIR FM and there was no commercials or DJ chatter. Then, the music died!)

The obvious reasons are that the money bags are now controlled by a few organizations that are extremely hostile to religion and tradition. That is why they are calling for fusion. Applying mathematical logic, anyone can see that fusion will make all individual art forms lose originality. This is the goal of one-world globalists – the loss of traditions. Nationalistic views are a stumbling block for one-world government/dictatorship. Destroying traditions is one of the ways of doing it. There are many people out there who are trying this in their own ingenious ways. Leela Samson, who until recently was the head of Kalakshetra and had to resign after adverse CAG report and court cases, is an example. Here is a quote from an Outlook article:

Thomas questions the contractual appointment of 150 teachers (there are only 37 permanent teachers for 140 students). “There were more teachers than students,” he says, and talks of money being wasted under Samson’s watch. Thomas is part of the old guard; he had been a hostel warden for 18 years and his wife Vasundhara is the institute’s most senior teacher. He feels Samson’s modernisation agenda was not restricted to dance alone, but also to Kalakshetra’s social mores. “Arundale used to segregate girls and boys strictly in the hostels. But Leela allowed them to mingle,” he says. “There should be a sense of purity about the place, she spoilt that.” Another charge levelled against Samson is her ‘sidelining’ of those who were seen as “Rukminiamma’s people”.

She has now been assigned the job as the head of the censor board. The reason why so much money is spent on converting people to Christian religion has nothing to do with any love or devotion to the creed of Christ. The financiers are Jewish. They want people to switch their religions and get cut off from their past. People without roots is the objective of religious conversion. After a few generations, the money supply is cut and their religion gets mocked and becomes unfashionable, as is the case now in the West. People become secular, shorn off any links to the past. Nobody is different. Everyone is the same. Very politically correct. Very much globalist. Ahoy, World Dictatorship. End of nations. No, really. World Government will never be a success. It will be a big failure, like in the movie Idiocracy.

One more word about fusion. And, I would like to quote from a recent interview given by dancer and actress Vyjayanthimala Bali for this.

The 75-year-old talks plenty about bharatnatyam and golf (yes, they’re poles apart). She’s a dancer at heart, a golf player by practice. “But I have been absent from golf, although I am soon going to start with it all over again,” she says, enthusiastically.

Dance at heart What takes centrestage in her heart, however, is her classical dance. “Bharatnatyam has always been a passion. I stick to traditional and even if I brought in semi-classical in Bollywood films back in the 1960s, there was folk in it, also a blend of classicism,” says Bali, who is currently researching on the revival of old, rare and forgotten dance forms of Southern India.

Bali attributes her secret to staying fit to dance and art festivals. “I travel around quite a bit for these where I present my research work. When there is so much of richness in the old, why should I go in for the new fusion and confusion?” she asks. The answer is crystal-clear…

Bali shrugs off a presence on Facebook, Twitter or “anything alike. I am nowhere…what’s this tweet tweet!” she mock protests, wondering why there’s such a song and dance about being ‘socially available’.

“Our culture is getting distorted, everyone wants to express a view and speak out. Much of it borders on the sensational,” she says…

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