It was sheer magic to watch ”˜Krishna’!


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By Neeru Saluja

While India was celebrating Janamashtmi enacting ”˜Raas-leelas’ and building ”˜Dahi Handis’, Sydney was treated to a musical spectacular show based on Lord Krishna, the most loved God of Hindu mythology. ”˜A Magical Journey with Krishna’ at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta took the audience on a memorable journey based on courage, love, dharma and karma.

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The plot of the musical revolved around Sunaina, a girl who along with her parents has just moved from Mumbai to Sydney. While her parents are busy settling into their new life in Australia, she struggles to cope with the change. As she is brought up with a faith in Lord Krishna to fix everything, the God himself appears in front of her and takes her on a journey depicting his own story and teaching her the valuable lessons of life.

This starts the magical journey from the time when Lord Krishna was born till he was slayed by his evil uncle, Kansa. With enchanting music, spectacular dancing, dazzling costumes and commendable acting, the play transits from the modern and mythological eras to depict the magic of Lord Krishna on today’s generation.

With a cast of 100 dancers and actors, the show left an everlasting impression on the spectators ”“ adults and kids alike. Every act stood out with its’ unique costumes, dedicated choreography and amazing performance by the actors and dancers. The enlightening visuals of rain, thunder, rivers, mountains and beautiful props of matkis, gajras, swords, aptly described each scene and the mythology of Krishna.

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The cast for the show comprised of people from all age groups and ethnic backgrounds. Auditions for the play took place six months ago of the students of the dance school though it was a tough competition for selections. The main role went to 9-year-old Sunaina who stole our hearts with her innocent and playful acting having had to compete with another 35 competitors for her role.

Behind the scenes of this spectacular show is Sumati Lekhi, the director of Swastik Institute of Dance. A Krishna devotee herself, Sumati wanted to weave Krishna Leela in a magical way that will appeal to people brought up in Australia. “Since my childhood I have participated in janamashtmi celebrations but I didn’t want my production to be the typical Krishna Leela. That is why the plot revolves around a child who has just moved from Mumbai to Sydney and Krishna shows her the path. I also wanted to show how as migrants we face all kinds of problems, but our faith and our love for Australia helps us to cross all obstacles,” says Sumati.

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Sumati, who established her institute in 2007 soon after migrating to Australia is an award winning Kathak performer and was the head of the dance department of Delhi Public School. Dancing is her passion and she has been dancing since the age of five. Though highly accomplished in dance, she gives all the credit of the show to her team and supporters. “My cast and cooperative team has been working very hard since the last six months. They have dedicated one day of their week and close to the show also their weekends for this show. Despite their full time jobs, school or family duties, each and every participant gave hundred percent commitment and it is their hard work which is on show tonight,” declares Sumati humbly.

Sumati Swastik Dance and team by staging this drama have provided a complete family entertainer for our kids who learnt the teachings of Lord Krishna through a beautiful medium of story told through dance.  It was an unforgettable performance, and a sheer magic to watch, really!

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