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Subhadra

The gestures and rhythms of the South Indian dance form Kathakali (danced by Maya Krishna Rao) are reconstructed, set to Hindustani classical music,(sung by Shubha Mudgal)  and  used to re-tell the story of Subhadra and her son Abhimanyu. 

This video dance subverts the patriachal text which holds Subhadra guilty of falling asleep while Arjun recited the mantra for Abhimanyu's victory in the Great War. It suggests instead that Subhadra, unable to bear the horrors of war , blocked her ears against the mantra. She refused to allow the child in her womb to be shaped by the slaughter and destruction which would be the cost of victory.

Screened at the World Wide Video Festival, Den Haag. 1994. 

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