Permits & Passes
Shakuntala of the Mahabharata presented by Centre for the Arts (NUS)
The Centre for the Arts at the National
University of Singapore (NUS) will be presenting a major
production, Shakuntala of the Mahabharata, -
the first Sanskrit drama in English - from 28 to 30 March
2002, at the University Cultural Centre Hall.
Sanskrit theatre is an ancient art
form, dating back 12 centuries. With
authenticity as its foremost criterion, this
production of Shakuntala will strictly follow the Natyasastra, the ancient
manual of Sanskrit theatre. In other words, performance
details of the classical theatre will be meticulously
preserved and reproduced.
The drama, in brief, tells the story of
Shakuntala of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, who
transformed her destiny with love, wisdom and bravery. The
production will integrate classical Indian dance, live
orchestra and chorus. Audiences can expect to
experience an authentic Sanskrit drama that is highly
visual, musical and spiritual, but the dialogue will be in
English for greater accessibility and
Shakuntala will be directed by Dr Grant Shen, an Asian theatre specialist
currently lecturing in the NUS Theatre Studies Programme. Dr Shen is well known for directing the first
English zaju opera in the world, entitled Freed by
a Flirt, in 1995, and the first English kabuki play in
Asia, Sukeroku Flower of Edo, in 1998.
The production’s choreographer is Mrs Santha
Bhaskar, a leading figure in the local Indian dance
scene. Her work has won her numerous awards including the
Cultural Medallion in 1991. Presently, she is the Artistic
Director of the very established Bhaskar’s Art Academy,
the only full-time Indian dance company in Singapore.
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