Cool Buddies

Kaavad Performace: Maya [by Sharada]

Posted in Review by Ratheesh & Sharada on March 3, 2016

kaavad_pic

With an unassuming gait, the Kaavadiya gently held our hand and coaxed us into his world of fantasy – the world of mighty kings, of chaste husbands, of desirous widows of creatures – the little birds, the trees, the hawk and the ants. The colourful and intriguing Kaavads drew us into their gates, guarded by the efficient dwarapalaks who let in only the most humble and inquisitive minds. We need to bow down and pray to be allowed to enter their sacred space. With open minds, eyes wide with wonder, with trepid steps and nimble movements, we follow the footsteps of the Kaavadiya as he starts unraveling the stories part by part, enacting the sequences, moving between the characters with utmost ease. As we travel from one story to the other, we are gently reminded that all this is Maya – an illusion created by our own minds through which we interpret the world around us.

The stories are of varied themes – perfectly blending the ancient and the current, adpated to contemporary times with the underlying human emotions of greed, jealousy, desire, love, justice raising their relevant questions. We are held in rapt attention engulfed in a web of situations that compel us to judge, to take stands and to root for what we believe is right. But should we go with what is right or what is appropriate? What is our moral obligation given such situations? Are our world leaders better empowered than us to lead us in the right path or are they too blinded by the inescapable Maya? How are the situations related? Is it possible that people are connected to a situation just like they are related each other? Plucking at one end of the string will invariably have an effect on the entire world because we are all bound in this intricate mesh held together by Maya.

Kaavad Katha is an ancient folk art form that uses Kaavads – paintings on boards to recite stories. It is a traditional art kept alive by Bhaats for several generations but now on the verge of vanishing forever from our culture. The Kaavads were sacred and used as mobile temples in remote villages that did not have a temple. Usually depicting stories from mythology, the Kaavads have evolved over time to incorporate secular themes, political statements and contemporary cultural motifs. In an effort to recognize and pay tribute to this art form, the Kaavad performance “Maya” – put together by a competent team of artists from Sva Collective – visual artists, musicians, sound engineers, writers and performers makes a brave and laudable attempt to explore this as a performing art form. Written lucidly in Hindi and performed effortlessly by the artist, supported by the crisp live music, it brought to life the stories on the colourful cardboards. For the length of the performance, it kept us engrossed, entertained and later, left us with important questions to contemplate long after.

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  1. […] Audience review: Maya: With an unassuming gait, the Kaavadiya gently held our hand and coaxed us into his world of fantasy – the world of mighty kings, of chaste husbands, of desirous widows of creatures – the little birds, the trees, the hawk and the ant. https://coolbuddies.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/kaavad-performace-maya-by-sharada/ […]


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