Presentation on theme: "DRAUPADI –THE FIREBORN PRINCESS A gripping tale from theMahabharata- the Mahabharata- an epic story at thecore of the core of Indian Culture. A story of."— Presentation transcript:
DRAUPADI –THE FIREBORN PRINCESS A gripping tale from theMahabharata- the Mahabharata- an epic story at thecore of the core of Indian Culture. A story of ‘Conflict & Resolution’
On Friday 13 th February, the whole of KS2 went to the Tower Theatre, our local theatre in Folkestone, to see Sujata Banerjee’s production of Draupadi, which has been our text and driving force for much of our Literacy learning throughout Term 3.
Sujata first introduced the story of Draupadi, to us during our ‘Creative Arts Project’ in Summer 2014, when she spent 3 days at our school, giving workshops in Kathak (Classical Indian dance) and Story-telling to most classes across the school.
She worked over a number of extended sessions with Year 5 (who are now Year 6) to develop their understanding of the story and develop their skills and love of the discipline of Dance. She shared her passion for the gripping ‘Draupadi’ story with them. There was a wonderfully joyful performance outside in the school grounds, which we all went out to watch.
The touring production… Meanwhile, the realisation of Sujata’s dream to get the story staged had come about. A touring production was to be put on by Sujata Banerjee’s dance company, in conjunction with The Puppet Theatre and with Arts Council funding and backing. The tour was to take place across the country and Sujata had made the decision to stage it at The Tower Theatre, so that was easily accessible to Sandgate Primary School and the schools in the Shepway schools cluster. We booked to take Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 to this unique theatrical performance at The Tower Theatre, to see ‘Draupadi, the Fire Born Princess’ - a traditional tale from India, which was to include the beautiful art forms of Puppetry, Classical Indian dance and storytelling. The dates for the performances planned for Folkestone had been set for mid February 2015.
To link in with our Pie Corbett ‘Talk for Writing’ project, many classes across KS2 decided to use the theme of ‘Conflict Resolution’ and learn the story of ‘Draupadi’ during Term 3 of this year, knowing that a theatre production was to be staged in mid February 2015. Many classes, particularly in Year 4, then wrote their own stories of Conflict and Resolution, inspired by it. You can see these stories displayed in Year 4 now.
Draupadi: the Fireborn Princess (This is a simplified text of the original that we used in our project) Many years ago, way back in Hindustan history, two royal brothers were born. The eldest brother, Dhrita, had 100 sons. The younger brother, Pandu, was crowned king and had 5 sons. All of the 5 sons got together and married Draupadi, the Fireborn Princess, who was the most enchanting and dazzling young woman that any man had ever set their eyes on. At the death of Pandu, a conflict started within the family as to who should become king of the empire. Pandu’s eldest son, Yudhi, was righteous, well – read, calm, honest, fair and always put his people first. Dhrita’s eldest son, Durya, was arrogant, spiteful, cunning and envious. A mighty war began between the two cousins, inflicting pain and misery on many. The two sides of the family fought bitterly against each other. There were many deaths and tragedies. Dhrita plotted against Pandu and his brothers. However, Yudhi was eventually crowned king.
After many years of successfully ruling the kingdom, it was time for Yudhi to retire. Yudhi crowned Parik, his great grandson, king saying “Let the younger generation enjoy life while we try to make sense of ours”. Yudhi left the kingdom with his four brothers, dressed in bark, setting off for the forest at the foot of the mountains. Meanwhile, back in the kingdom, cousins were reunited under the rule of Parik, who was loved and popular with his whole family. So, the five old men and their Fireborn Princess wife walked towards the great snow clad mountains, whose peak touched heaven. As they got ascended the path, it got narrower and steeper. Suddenly, Draupadi fell and in turn, so did all the four brothers of Yudhi. At long last, Yudhi found himself at the gates of heaven. “Come inside,” said the Gods, with arms outstretched, “But keep that dog out.” In complete surprise, his eyes widened as he found a dog had followed him and was by his side. He recognised the dog from the streets of his kingdom. So he pleaded with the Gods to allow the dog to enter the gates of heaven with him. The Gods refused. Yudhi pleaded again saying, “That is unfair, why should he be kept out and I be taken in? We are equals.” The Gods were extremely pleased with this answer, saying “This dog is none but one of us, welcome to paradise.”
On Friday 13 th February, we were very fortunate to have had this production staged locally, especially for us. 240 children and 40 adults went to see the performance. It was a unique and magical experience, as these photos and comments from children across KS2 demonstrate:
“The way the puppeteers handled the puppets was extraordinary… they seemed almost lifelike.” (Nicole, Year 6).
“Seeing the performance of Draupadi really helped me to understand the richness of the Indian culture and brought the story alive.” (Lily, Year 4)
“I loved the puppets because when I was watching them, I saw their moods changing, and I thought this was so cool…very talented puppeteers!” (Will, Year 6)
“The most surprising thing for me was how amazing the dancers were and how the whole play was put together so fabulously.” (Fern, Year 4).
“I felt it gave me more inspiration seeing it as a performance, with the actors and dancers singing well too…it felt so real.” (James, Year 3.)
. “The way the puppeteers handled the puppets was extraordinary… the storytelling was also great, with the old version of Draupadi starting it all off.” (Eleanor, Year 5)
We would especially like to thank Sujata for the last ten years of inspiring workshops she has delivered at Sandgate Primary School, for her passion in directing this amazing production and for bringing it to Folkestone.
SUJATA BANERJEE DANCE COMPANY: Sujata Banerjee Dance Company is an arts organisation formed in 1985 committed to promoting South Asian arts and music in the UK and beyond. The Company has been at the forefront of South Asian culture in the UK for the past two decades creating innovative choreographic pieces and creating partnerships with other organisations and artists. "Enriching Education, Nurturing Innovation & Promoting Excellence"
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