Mahabharata is a spectacular retelling of the traditional Sanskrit epic, by Canada’s Why Not Theatre.
Forged of 20 has been introduced for Mahabharata, a spectacular retelling of the traditional Sanskrit epic, by Canada’s Why Not Theatre, which follows a devastating household feud and explores profound philosophical and non secular concepts. Its tales are greater than 4 thousand years previous and foundational to Indian tradition. The brand new, large-scale retelling by Toronto-based firm Why Not Theatre is the primary main worldwide adaptation to be led by an organization from the South Asian diaspora and makes its UK premiere on the Barbican Theatre this autumn (1 – 7 October). The world premiere was hailed by critics as “triumphant” (Toronto Star), “beautiful” (Globe and Mail), and “Epic in each sense of the phrase.” (Intermission journal) at The Shaw Competition Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada in March 2023.
The tales collected in ‘The Mahabharata’ span 1000’s of years and over 100,000 verses – virtually 4 instances so long as Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ & ‘The Iliad’ mixed, and eight instances so long as the Bible. To at the present time, favorite moments, characters, and classes are remembered and retold within the kitchens and temples of greater than 1 billion folks of India and its diaspora. These historic tales proceed to resonate powerfully immediately towards a backdrop of territorial conflict, human rights violations, and local weather change.
Nearly 40 years since Peter Brook’s legendary manufacturing, Why Not Theatre’s adaptation takes audiences on a journey via the previous with a purpose to write an exciting new future. Exploring the act of storytelling itself, the staging evolves from historic and intimate – a storyteller round a fireplace and classical Kathakali dance – to a contemporary spectacle with projection, dynamic soundscapes, poetic stage design, and a brand new opera for probably the most revered portion of ‘The Mahabharata’, the Bhagavad Gita. A stay onstage band creates the atmospheric music rating, that includes conventional devices from the Bansuri (bamboo flute, typically depicted as a favorite of the Hindu god Krishna) to the Tabla (percussion, an important component in music and dance efficiency throughout the Indian subcontinent).
The manufacturing is introduced in two elements and narrated by a storyteller (Miriam Fernandes), a charismatic information who weaves a path via the forest of tales. Karma (Half 1), is the origin story of the rival Pandava and Kaurava clans, illuminating the alternatives we inherit and the way these decisions impression generations to return. In Dharma (Half 2), an excellent battle destroys the planet and the survivors are left behind to rebuild.
Mahabharata is carried out by an organization from throughout 4 continents, all from the South Asian diaspora. Balancing East and West, conventional and up to date, the manufacturing and ensemble spotlight the advanced hybrid nature of cultures in immediately’s globalised world and interconnected lives. The forged consists of UK-based performers Ajay Chhabra (Tough Diamonds, Netflix), Neil D’Souza (How To Maintain Your Breath, Royal Court docket), Darren Kuppan (Let The Proper One In, Manchester Royal Change), Goldy Notay (Lifetime of Pi, UK Tour) and Sakuntala Ramanee (Lifetime of Pi, West Finish), who’re joined by Canadian and different worldwide performers Shawn Ahmed, Jay Emmanuel, Miriam Fernandes, Navtej Sandhu, Anaka Maharaj-Sandhu, Ellora Patnaik, Meher Pavri, Munish Sharma and Sukania Venugopal, and understudies Varun Guru, Karthik Kadam, Suma Nair, Ronica Sajnani and Ishan Sandhu. Performing within the stay band are John Gzowski (Conductor/Co-Composer/Co-Sound Designer/Guitar), Suba Sankaran (Band Chief/Co-Composer/Co-Sounder Designer/Vocals), Dylan Bell (Bass/Keyboard), Gurtej Singh Hunjan (Percussion), Hasheel Lodhia (Bansuri/Vocals) and Zaheer-Abbas Janmohamed (Tabla).
Affiliate Director, Co-Author, Storyteller and Why Not Theatre Co-Inventive Director, Miriam Fernandes, stated: “We’re a small strand amongst an excellent lineage of storytellers who’ve weaved this epic of ‘The Mahabharata’ over the ages. These tales have been handed from storyteller to viewers for 1000’s of years and span the earth, touring within the recollections and imaginations of the South Asian diaspora. Although first composed in an historic time, the themes of greed, revenge, ecocide, and privilege really feel acutely related in our globalized world.”
Director, Co-Author and Why Not Theatre Founder and Co-Inventive Director, Ravi Jain, stated: “As a scholar in London, I watched the world masters dazzle audiences on the Barbican stage. 20 years later it’s a dream come true to share this advanced work we’re so pleased with at this really particular venue.”
Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre & Dance on the Barbican, stated: “We’re thrilled to current this groundbreaking new manufacturing to our audiences, a masterclass in exhilarating stagecraft impressed by historic oral traditions and poetry. We’re honoured to welcome Why Not Theatre to our principal stage for the primary time, following their studio residency in 2019, and we hope that, for a lot of of our viewers members, Mahabharata will resonate with the tales which have been handed down for generations. Exploring the ability of storytelling to know the place we’ve come from and to assist us navigate our future, Mahabharata invitations us to attach with views from internationally and encourage us to reimagine what we will obtain collectively.”
The primary sparks for the venture began in 2015. Ravi Jain (Founding Inventive Director of Why Not Theatre) selected to adapt only one story (the Bhagavad Gita) inside the sprawling Mahabharata for a fee by the intercontinental Pan Am Video games. Backed by funding from Canada Council of the Arts, Ontario’s prestigious Shaw Competition Theatre then invited Ravi to ‘Dream Massive’ and stage your entire epic poem. Having grown up with the Indian tales transplanted to a Canadian context, Ravi was impressed to dive deep into his previous, taking inspiration from many South Asian sources in addition to Peter Brook’s 1985 manufacturing. Ravi wished to discover a approach to share this story with a contemporary viewers by highlighting the myriad methods we inform tales. As a part of Why Not Theatre’s deeply ingrained collaborative strategy, Ravi teamed up with Miriam Fernandes (now Co-Inventive Director of Why Not Theatre). Collectively they constructed the script, drawing primarily from Carole Satyamurti’s ‘Mahabharata, A Fashionable Retelling’, Devdutt Patnaik’s ‘JAYA’, and the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, but additionally pulling from wildly numerous views and mixing influences, together with people tales, road theatre, western European bodily theatre (from their coaching at LAMDA and the Lecoq Faculty and up to date corporations comparable to Simon McBurney’s Complicité and Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théâtre du Soleil), oral storytelling traditions, and the favored Indian staples they grew up with, comparable to Amar Chitra Katha’s Mahabharata comics and B. R. Chopra’s Mahabharata TV sequence.
Mahabharata is tailored by Why Not Theatre’s Founding Inventive Director Ravi Jain and Co-Inventive Director Miriam Fernandes, utilizing poetry from Carole Satyamurti’s ‘Mahabharata: A Fashionable Retelling’. The unique idea was developed with Jenny Koons. Set design is by Lorenzo Savoini, costume design is by Gillian Gallow, lighting design is by Kevin Lamotte, projections are by Hana S. Kim, sound design is by John Gzowski and Suba Sankaran, authentic music is by John Gzowski and Suba Sankaran, with contributions from Dylan Bell, Gurtej Singh Hunjan, Zaheer-Abbas Janmohamed and Hasheel Lodhia (who additionally serves as conventional music marketing consultant), and choreography is by Brandy Leary with contributions by Jay Emmanuel and Ellora Patnaik. Lead Producers are Michelle Yagi and Kevin Matthew Wong, with Manufacturing Supervisor Crystal Lee. The manufacturing is directed by Ravi Jain and made its world premiere on the Shaw Competition, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada.
Why Not Theatre is a global theatre firm primarily based in Toronto, Canada, working on the intersection of artwork, innovation and social change. Rooted in values of neighborhood and collaboration, Why Not challenges the established order, rethinking how tales are advised and who will get to inform them. Since its inception, the corporate has developed and produced 50+ new performs to crucial and public acclaim. These works have toured to over 50 cities and garnered over 40 awards and nominations. Why Not is led by Founder and Co-Inventive Director, Ravi Jain, Govt Director, Karen Tisch, and Co-Inventive Director, Miriam Fernandes.
Mahabharata: Karma (Half 1)
King Janamejaya is holding a ritual sacrifice wherein he’ll kill all of the snakes on the earth to avenge his father’s loss of life. In hopes of ending this cycle of revenge, a storyteller is summoned to inform King Janamejaya the story of The Mahabharata. The storyteller tells of the rival Pandava and Kaurava clans, and the alternatives that result in their notorious Sport of Cube. By means of playful narration, classical Indian dance and a stay band, the ensemble tells the tales of people struggling to construct a simply world within the face of competitors, jealousy, and rage.
Exploring the themes of storytelling, ecocide, and dharma (empathy), Karma (Half 1) begins Mahabharata’s epic journey that asks, “When everybody believes they’re proper and their opponents improper, how can one finish a spiral of revenge?”
Mahabharata: Dharma (Half 2)
King Janamejaya is advised of the conflict fought by his ancestors — its devastating destruction of the planet, the mass extinction that follows, and of the survivors left behind to rebuild. Utilizing charming projections, dynamic soundscapes, and poetic stage design, Dharma (Half 2) features a 15-minute Sanskrit opera adaptation of the Bhagavad Gita. King Janamejaya is confronted with the battle of Kurukshetra, and the battle inside his personal coronary heart. Are we destined to repeat the errors of our ancestors?
Neighborhood Meal & Storytelling Session: Khana & Kahani
(Optionally available, restricted capability)
Mahabharata is a narrative that one learns over a lifetime; it must be absorbed and digested. On choose days there may also be the choice to e book for Khana & Kahani, a neighborhood meal and storytelling session to delve deeper into the philosophical riddles of the Pandava household’s 13 years of exile. Hosted by two charming storytellers, performed by Miriam Fernandes and Sharada Okay Eswar, viewers members collect for an Indian (vegan) meal to listen to additional tales from the Mahabharata, as folks have skilled for millennia, across the dinner desk.