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Veena C Seshadri on ‘Jaanami Jaanaki’: ‘Celebrating Sita’s wisdom and courage’

Veena C Seshadri on ‘Jaanami Jaanaki’: ‘Celebrating Sita’s wisdom and courage’

Veena C Sheshadri in stills from the production

Veena C Sheshadri in stills from the production
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Veena C Seshadri , an acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer, was looking at a theatrical performance that was rooted in dance and music. That is when she decided to come up with Jaanami Jaanaki: ARelentless Saga, a solo production that celebrates Sita and women. Taken from Valmiki Ramayana, the Sanskrit production is directed by film and theatre actor-director K Suchendra Prasad.

“The production focusses on Sita. She symbolises courage, strength, endurance and patience. Her life was not easy. She had her struggles as a wife, mother, and daughter, which today’s women can identify with. Jaanami Jaanaki celebrates Sita and her wisdom and compassion; it depicts her as a fighter, counsellor, healer and nurturer.”

Veena says, “Sita teaches us to perform our duties as a wife and mother with patience, yet she fights and stands her ground against injustice. One does not need to be a warrior to fight. You just need to follow your path.”

We are self-indulgent, now, Veena feels. “We fight for our own identity. There is so much ‘I’ in everything that we do. Sita is compared to the earth — she weathers all seasons and also bears life, but can turn into a volcano when she is against injustice.”

Veena does not like calling her production drama, dance or music. “I would say it is a performance-based presentation as I do not believe in defining arts or limiting it to dance, music or theatre. I see it as an amalgamation. It is like the Natyashastra, which includes all performing arts.”

About Prasad being a part of this production, Veena says, that the two had collaborated on other projects. Veena has also been a part of the Sanskrit feature film Ekachankram, directed by Prasad. “That was when I approached him to direct this production as I have directed most of my works and wanted a new perspective for Sita”.

Jaanami Jaanaki symbolises our roles in life too, Veena says. “Each of us plays a different role every day. That is what is projected on to the performance.”

Jaanami Jaanaki, with music by Deepak Paramashivan, will be staged on March 8, 6.30pm at Seva Sadan, Malleshwaram. It is open to all.

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