Blog contributed by
NWA local resident
Project Manager | Walmart
“Set your Heart upon your work, But Never its Reward” - This quote from Lord Krishna in Bhagvad Gita – the sacred book of Hindus can be well seen in the endearing dance show Baala – the Tale of Kanha, performed by the amazing youth disciples of Vidushi Megha P Rao at the Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville on 20th August 2022. Eleven talented students and their ingenious guru (Megha herself) set the stage for the audiences who were immersed in each of the segments for almost an hour and a half.
Krishna’s tales are one of the most popular in Hinduism and to showcase His brilliance and innocence is an accomplishment. The artists captured the hearts and minds from the initial scene of Devaki’s wedding to Vasudeva. Medhansh Sankaran in his role of Kamsa did full justice to the character, the emotional dilemma of a doting brother to the powerful selfish King of Mathura whisking the newlyweds, Devaki (Darshine Ponnusamy) and Vasudeva (Prerana Kodakandla), to a prison.
The performances take a light and fun turn after Krishna is born and set in Yashoda’s arms. Young Krishna (Deethya Rao) brought smiles to the audiences with his playful mischief leaving the audience asking for more of the ‘Natkhat Nona’ (naughty one). The story of Pootana – the demoness who attains liberation at the end portrayed by Megha Rao with unparalleled facial gestures deserves a special mention.
The segment of Yashoda and Krishna, mother-son affection, portrayed in the song “Maadu Meikum Kanne” brought cheer and adoration for Krishna. Matangi Arun as Yashoda in her beautiful lehenga costume played the role of a mother who showers love and concurrently disciplines her son Krishna to protect Him from the complaining
neighborhood ladies of Gokul.
The story progresses to teen Krishna (Sinchana Natraj) – the ever smiling, notorious boy who is full of compassion, tenderness, and love. His charades with his brother Balarama (Tanusha Suvarna) and other friends including the battle with the multi headed serpent Kaliya (Jyothika Arunkumar) were some of the highlights of the show.
The Dandiya Raas (an energetic dance from Gujarat in India) was beautifully blended in with the traditional Bharatnatyam and thoughtfully delivered in great fashion. The fast-paced dance moves and vibrant costumes exuded love and energy.
The final battle between Krishna (accompanied by his brother Balarama) and his evil uncle Kamsa (accompanied by his great warrior Chanura), symbolized the end of tyranny and evil. Portrayed beautifully again by Medhansh (Kamsa) and Matangi (this time portraying Chanura), it was a great conclusion to a story well told through the medium of dance.
The well-coordinated songs and graceful choreography encapsulating every mood and emotion of the diverse audience was commendable. Baala – the Tale of Kanha was a magical, divine production and the artists deserve every reward for their efforts.