Devdas the Musical

26 Aug

Romantic love is the perfect subject for the dramatic form. It’s particular – this soul adores only this soul. It’s deeply personal, yet it speaks to us all. For many people, this is theatre par excellence – where the concrete leads to the universal.

Devdas is the story of a man loved by two women. He can’t have one and does not love the other.

Devdas the Musical is a spectacle, an explosion of colour and sound. The audience is treated to a banquet of musical styles, provided with great virtuosity by composer/performer Aparna Nagashayana.

Visually the piece is a delight as well, with gorgeous costumes, and beautiful dancing choreographed by Ruchi Sanghi.

Director Viral Hathi does a wonderful job of both marshalling a huge cast and painting precise and poignant moments.

Despite their universality, or perhaps because of it, love stories can sometimes seem one dimensional. But not in this case – the novel on which this (and the many movie versions) is based sources a richer tradition.

Photo by Dusk Devi Vision

Photo by Dusk Devi Vision

One of the great gifts of Hinduism to the world is the insight that sexual love can be an evocative symbol of our longing for the divine. Radha longs for her Krishna.

It’s been said that young poets write of sexuality in the language of spirituality, while old poets write of the spirit in the language of sex. And some would assert that spirituality is merely sublimated sexuality.

But perhaps sexuality is sublimated spirituality.

Whatever the case, Devdas is a story of devotion and the consequences of failing in it. It’s a reminder of the power of love.

Photo by Dusk Devi Vision

Photo by Dusk Devi Vision

In the West, discourse about spirituality has been high jacked by the success of the scientific revolution. (It’s difficult to underestimate the allure of a technological culture that has doubled our life spans in the virtual blink of an eye.)

But the way of knowledge is only one path. Love and devotion are another. Termed bhakti in Hinduism, it’s a path that finds expression in most religious traditions.

To look plainly and honestly at the world is an ability we rightly admire.

But it’s not the same as loving the world.

Veronica Kaye

Devdas the Musical

NIDA Parade Theatre 24 August

2 Responses to “Devdas the Musical”

  1. Kiran Sheena Premnath August 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    One of the great gifts of Hinduism is its universal language of love, compassion and wisdom told through many innocent tales and extravagant, intricate characters. Please do not ‘sexualise’ the relationship of Radha and Krishna. It is not proper to do so. They are both Divine personalities. We are spirits having a human experience. Sex is a human experience, not a spiritual experience.

  2. Dusk Devi September 2, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    Hello, great review… I would appreciate if you could credit me with the images Dusk Devi Vision

    Also… I beg to differ [above comment]… sex is very much a spiritual experience. It is the creator of life.

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