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Sound signal, Transformation, choreography, dramaturgy, dramatic compositions, metamorphosis
“Parisodh” and “Shyama” are two distinct dramatic compositions that showcase the poetic intentions of their creators through the expressive mediums of song and dance. In both instances, the core theme revolves around the profound concept of transformation, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of human existence. In the context of “Parisodh,” the drama unfolds through a compelling interplay of music and narrative, with a central focus on the poet’s intentions. The use of songs within the drama serves as a powerful tool to convey the emotional depth and complexity of the characters’ journey towards transformation. Through the medium of song, the characters in “Parisodh” engage in a duel, not just physically but also ideologically, as they grapple with inner conflicts and external challenges. The abstract nature of the drama allows the audience to delve into the nuances of the characters’ struggles, reflecting the poet’s intention to explore the transformative power of human experiences. On the other hand, “Shyama” brings the element of dance drama into play to communicate the poet’s intentions in the duel of transformation. The integration of dance as a storytelling device enhances the visual and emotional impact of the narrative. The choreography becomes a language of its own, illustrating the characters’ evolution and the intricate dynamics of their transformations. Through the physicality of dance, “Shyama” creates a mesmerizing tapestry that captures the essence of the poet’s intentions, depicting the struggles, conflicts, and eventual metamorphosis of the characters involved in the duel. In both dramas, the duel of transformation serves as a metaphor for the broader human experience. The poets behind “Parisodh” and “Shyama” use the power of words, music, and dance to explore the profound themes of change, growth, and self-discovery. The abstract nature of these performances allows for a rich and multi-layered interpretation, inviting the audience to reflect on their journeys of transformation and the myriad challenges inherent in the human condition. Ultimately, through the synergy of drama, song, and dance, these compositions become vehicles for the poets’ intentions to resonate on a deeply emotional and universal level.
‘Parisodh’ and Dance Drama ‘Shyama’ : The Poet’s Intentions in the Duel of Transformation
The path of continuous evolution from Buddhist narratives through poetry and drama has culminated in ‘Nritya Natya Shyama’. Rabindranath has shown the path of man’s transition to Mars in the conflict of good luck in the dance drama ‘Shyama’. Rabindranath’s aim was the psychological development of the characters in the weaving of events. The lusty Shyama of the original story is repeatedly devastated by the cruel rejection of Rupasakti lover Vajrasena, but love triumphs. In a desperate attempt to save Vajrasena, he effortlessly sacrifices Uttiya. Vajrasena, on the other hand, is also a passionate lover, but a hard-hearted man of virtue and sin. Even if he leaves Shyama, he cannot forget her. The interpretation of this strange and difficult tragedy is not easy. The poet has embellished the text of the original ‘Parishod’ while transforming the Parishm Natyagiti into a dance drama. Minor errors have been carefully corrected. The overall discussion scenario of this article is the comparative exploration of possible transformations of dance drama with drama.
‘Parishoed Natyagiti’ has been refined and enhanced every time to enhance the acting excellence. Prabhatkumar Mukhopadhyay says, “Shyama (the song ‘Prishod’) has been performed many times in Santiniketan and has been adapted many times. After performing at Ashutosh College Hall, ‘Parishodh’ was performed for the second time at Santiniketan on 27th March 1937. The poet writes to Nirmal Kumari informing her of the necessary revision of the text of the play, “…Bouma has assigned me the task of changing payment, modification and editing, so there is no time to breathe, I am composing words, adding tunes, teaching Shantideb Ghosh.” Notable among these is the scene of his murder by the protagonist and the assassin during the second act. In the later performances also the ‘Parishod Natyagiti’ changed in form and form. The final transformation of ‘Parishodh Natyagiti’ was achieved on 7th and 8th of February 1939 AD, when it was performed at the ‘Sri’ Ranga Mancha, Kolkata. The name also changes, to ‘Nrityanatya Shyama’.
By observing the archived manuscripts of the ‘Bichitra Ethira Rabindra-Rachnasambhar’, one can grasp the nature of how ‘Nrityanatya Shyama’ came to be in the course of the continuous evolution of ‘Parishodh Natyagiti’. The first manuscript numbered ‘RBVBMS 173’ written in Ashwin 1343 BC, has a text close to the text of the Natyagita published in ‘Pravasi’ (Kartika 1343 BC). Only Shyam’s song ‘Ebar vasiye dyna hona amara ei tari’ is mentioned in the background before the song ‘Hai, Hai Re, Hai Parvasi’. In the final version ‘Nrityanatya Shyama’, this song was added after Shyama and Vajrasena’s lyrical dialogue ‘Premer Joare Vasabe Dohare’. Not in the background as before; Rather, this song is sung by ‘Sakhi’. After the song ‘Oi Re Tari Dil Khule’, ‘Baje Guru Guru Shankar Donka’ is added. After the release of Vajrasena in the dance drama Shyama, this song was added in the moments before the meeting with Shyama. Shyama was apprehensive even before the meeting; Uttiya’s death or killing left him pained and upset, as expressed in this song. The nature of Shyama’s infighting is clear. The position of the manuscript is not as clear. This is why the poet has changed his position. Sakhi’s suggestive song ‘Nirbe Takhis Sakhi’ is also found in the manuscript in question, which was not in the previously mentioned text of ‘Pravasi’.
A second manuscript numbered ‘RBVBMS 173(2)’ and dated Chaitra 1343 shows several changes. Firstly, the location of the first scene is Shyama’s house. The congregants are seated – the Sakhis enter. Sabhasaddar Abhibadan’ – dance drama started with this instruction. This section is missing from the final form or other manuscripts. Second, the physical presence and songs of the superior characters add to the drama of this manuscript. The four songs added in the final version are from this lesson. Sakhi-Kanth ‘Fagun’s Naveen Anande’ is new to this manuscript. The importance of the ‘Sakhi’ character has been relatively enhanced. The song ‘Kathin Bednar Tapas Dohe’ at the end of ‘Parishod Natyagiti’ is omitted from the manuscript in question. ‘Kshimite Parilam Na’ – added at the end of the song. In other words, the errors in the drama in the end of the play ‘Parishodh’ have been eliminated in this manuscript. Again the manuscript dated Bhadra 1345 and numbered ‘RBVBMS 254’ is closer to the final form. Added ‘Friend’ character. The role of Sakhis has also been finalized.
The latest manuscript is dated 1 February 1939 (Magh 1345) and is numbered RBVBMS 269(2). A few new songs have been added to this manuscript. The format has changed. In the fourth scene, a new song has been added to Kotal’s character – ‘Puri Hoke Paneche Je Pursundari’. Sakhid has a new song in his voice – ‘Hey Birhi Hai, Chanchal Hiya Tab’ for ‘Shapmochan’. A picture of Shyama’s lovelorn virgin heart emerges. This manuscript was repeatedly modified to act.
Although there are four scenes in Nrityanatya and Shyama, rearrangements, additions and subtractions during the transformation make ‘Shyama’ almost double the volume. Abandoning the song of waiting for Shyama’s unknown guest in the payment, Shyama begins by music a conversation between the friend and Vajrasena about Indramani’s loss. By the new plan of the first scene, the preliminary stage of the play can be said to have been completed. After the guard and Vajrasena enter after Shyama’s song of waiting in the first scene of the payback, Shyama is impressed by Vajrasena, a scene which Shyama heavily changes in the second scene. The most important addition to Nritya Natya Shyama is the presence of ‘superior’ characters on stage. Uthiya’s direct participation adds a third angle between the hero and heroine, increasing the level of drama. There is no direct presence of Uttia in the poem and play ‘Parishodh’. In response to Shyama’s pitiful plea, he doesn’t want to be theorizing when he sings, “Nayai inidu jani nee, jani ne, dhor tomare jani”. The young Uthiya tried to convince Shyama that he was ready to do anything, lose everything for Shyama. Uttiya has elevated the worldly love of this life to eternal love through self-sacrifice. His absence in the play was detrimental to Shyama and Vajrasena, whose dead body was laid to rest for eternity, creating an eternal gap between them, a flaw that Rabindranath rectifies in ‘Shyama’. In the dance dramas ‘Parishodh’ and ‘Shyama’ there is no talk of blue clothes, but there is talk of introspective thoughts about picking up nupura. Here too Shyama is rejected on re-entry but is instructed to pick up the nupur before re-entry but not to throw it away afterwards. A third significant change in character is the increased importance of autobiography. Natyagita also mentioned Sakhi or Sahachari characters. But their role was limited to a single song. In the dance drama ‘Shyama’, the importance of the script has increased with the number of songs. The Sakhi characters, sometimes appearing singly, sometimes in ensembles, expressed the psyche of Shyama through their songs, giving glimpses of the drama.
Kotal’s dialogue at the beginning of the fourth scene of Shyama, the dialogue between the friends and the watchman is depicted anew. In Kotal’s song, ‘Nagarer Praner Dulali’, ‘Pursundari’ Shyama regrets leaving the city. In other words, Shyama’s respect as a royal dancer is revealed through the song.
The characters of Shyama and Vajrayana have also been reimagined in the dance drama. The main difference between Shyama in dance and poetry is that in the former two forms, it is not known how Shyama persuaded Utiya to give himself up. But in the drama, Shyama calls for a hero who will free an innocent person from wrongful slander. A strong hero is invoked to protest against the machinations of state power. Uttiya responded to Shyama’s call. On the eve of Uttiya’s self-sacrifice, her sense of guilt awakened and pleaded with Kotal-
Stop, stop, you, leave it, leave it
Guilty and not guilty, lies are all lies,
Take away my deceit and that
At the feet of the king.
On the one hand, by pushing the innocent Utya to his death for self-gratification, and on the other hand, by Vajrasena’s rejection of that death, Shyama loses everything, and the pain is intensified. “A lover has left empty-handed and with a smiling face, and the merciless pity and persecution of a loved one has rained down in his heart; After this, the cost of addiction, the cost of sin – addiction is the basic sin he is paying for. This is the pain of Shyama.
Like Shyama, Vajrasena’s character has also been reimagined. He loves Shyama, but he cannot accept Shyama after the death of Utiya. Prem plays the role of destiny in the poetry and dance drama of hitting Shyama, later invoking Manaslo and the regret voiced in Vajrasena’s voice after the final rejection. Pramathnath Bishi says, “The character of Vajrasena, who oscillates between love and sin, judgment and forgiveness, is as helpless and pitiable as a trembling dewdrop on the Ashwatha Pratsara. It is entirely Rabindranath’s own, nothing original. “In the conflict of personal love with justice-principle-value, of love with love, the one who has not forgiven is no less pained than the one who weeps. Where the task is inherently complex and ambivalent, inconclusive solutions often turn tragic. As was the case with Vajrasena, says Abu Sa’id Ayyub.” The result of Natyagiti and Nrityanatya Shyama is different. The song ‘Kshmite Parilam Na Je / Kshmo he mamo Dinata’ is added long before the end-scene in the play. Despite this repentance, Shyama is rejected and humiliated. And, in the end, the song ‘Kathin Vedanae Tapas Dohne, Jao Chirvirah Sadhanae’ is sung in the Greek chorus or destiny style and the Natyaras is undermined. But at the end of the dance, Vajrasena sings – “Forgive not, forgive not my unforgiveness/Papijansaran Prabhu.” Many have termed this outcome of Vajrasena as a tragedy.
The number of complete songs of Shyama is comparatively less. The songs are – ‘Fire jao ken fyre fyre jao’, ‘Mayavanbiharini Harini’, ‘Jeevane Param Lagan’, ‘Dhara Se Je Dei Nai’, ‘Sunderer Bandhan’, ‘Amar Jeeban Patra Uchhlia’, ‘Premer Joare Vasabe Dohare’, ‘ Hey Hey Re Hai Parvasi’, ‘Nirbe Thakis Sakhi’, ‘I couldn’t forgive that’. As the dialogue became a song and the aim of the song was a dance performance, the spirit of the poem became much more integrated. “What I have done for you / It is hard work / It is more difficult to speak to you today. / His name is boy Kishore Uttiya, / Impatient like me in failed love; / At my persuasion, he took his life after stealing and slandering himself.”
Whether this is a sin, or the greatest sin, or the glorious sin of a lover of justice, Shyama cannot say anything else after describing that terrible and tragic incident. The melody has value here, the drama has value. ‘Sapeche Apan Pran’ – Shyama’s excruciating agony, and cries are expressed in this word. No further explanation was needed. In Nritya Natya Shyamay songs, sadhu verbs like ‘Kaho Bibaria’, ‘Kariya’ ‘achh Jagiya’ and pronouns like ‘Moder’, ‘More’, ‘Tahar’ etc. do not become barriers to the song, as the rhymes and rhythmic swings emerge in the songs and the conversational features in the songs. The language has become very lively and independent. In the dialogue between the friend and Vajrasena in the first scene, the dialogue between Vajrasena and Kotal also shows this Tatsamgandhi feature.
Many of Shyama’s songs also have a unique structure by repeating the same words two or three times. For example, “I don’t know right and wrong, I don’t know, I don’t know”. This repetition in different words is to emphasize the words, and the emphasis within the words is brought to life by the variety of tones. …The words and tunes of this final episode (dance drama) have a close coherence and interdependence.
Rabindranath is romantic in art. For the romantic poet, the value of love is much higher than the sense of justice. But surprisingly, Shyama’s love reunion was not consummated by the pursuit of justice. In the words of the narrator, “There is no greater truth than romantic love in the eyes of the romantic poet. It seems that Shyama was composed by Rabindranath in an ambivalent mind, unable to reconcile the sentiments of the poet with the idea of eternal religion. As a result of this consonant ambiguity, the play is not fragmented but has become richer in dramatic value. In the end, love has died to the sense of justice. The result was intense grief. But it can’t be labelled as a Western definition of tragedy, but Vajrasena’s guilt at not being able to forgive Shyama and his heart-rending pain of surrendering his refuge to God gives the resulting tragic appeal a different dimension. This is exactly the genre of western tragedy. did not Shyama is unique in Rabindra’s creation in this aspect as well.
At first glance, it may seem more logical to call Parishod Natyagiti a ballad than a ‘Natyagiti’. All the dialogues in Natyagiti like Rabindrangeetinatyam are songs. This song is also danceable. Dramatic conflicts are also expressed through song dialogues and dance performances. Perhaps it has rapidly progressed to extremes as it reaches its climax. So why is it called ‘Natyagiti’? Because even though there is conflict in the play ‘Parishodh’, it is not so congealed. The growth or complexity of drama is not evident in the language of literary adaptations. What happened in a short period? Character development and consequences are rapid. Therefore, even though it is accompanied by song and dance, it is called Natyagiti instead of Gitinataka or complete dance drama. It must be remembered that Rabindra-composed Natyagiti is different from the conventional Natyagiti genre.
Love is the precious resource of human life, the ultimate wealth. As Shyama attains his Pranayaspada, the love attained in this way can never be opulent. Love must be good. Only then will it be beautiful. The poet has explained this Mars elsewhere, “Mars has a profound harmony with all the worlds, it has a profound similarity with the minds of all people. When we see the complete harmony of goodness with truth, its beauty is no longer invisible to us.” Shyama and Vajrasena’s love in general lacks depth and devotion. But amid their union lies the lifeless existence of another innocent lover. It is for this reason that Rabindra-created Shyama Vajrasena’s love does not end in a union similar to that of the Buddhist story—in a way of seeking God’s forgiveness and taking refuge in a tragic and tragic situation. Dance drama Chitrangada did not have the ideals of dance drama before the poet. So took several experimental steps, first in dance. But Rabindranath was completely free of hesitation while writing ‘Nrityanatya Shyama’. Before this, he had gained experience in composing ‘prose-songs’ in Chandalika, and he also had the successful experience of harmonizing the lines of the poem ‘Parishodh’ in the play ‘Parishod’ before writing the dance drama Shyama. Except for the self-contained songs in Shyama, most of the lyrics adopt the rhythm and language of Parishod poetry.
Buddhist epics are elevated to the level of eternal rasa literature with Rabindrakalpana-touch. The hero-heroine of ancient Jataka, Vajrasena-Shyama, enriched with the delicate sensibilities of the poet, and the poem created under the shadow of the romantic poet’s heart, transformed into the dance drama Shyama at the final stage. The poet has dramatized the Buddhist story with his imagination and feelings, adding a deep human dimension and philosophy. Writings from their eras have passed down eternal truths. What in poetry, prose and poetry was confined to the limits of mere dialogue or description, in dance drama it found dramaturgical activity and emancipation. His final destination is Shyama along the path of Chitrangada-Chandalika. ‘Shyama’ is an outstanding creation of Rabindranath in the beauty of expression, the charm of language, the quality of dance and poetry and above all the drama.
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