Munna & the Maharaja
The Storyteller's Toolkit
The techniques an Indian classical dancer uses to create an emotional mood are grouped under the term "saatvika abhinaya" (SAAT-vika ab-in-EYE-a). In particular, the face is a key tool for communicating emotion—Indian dancers train for years to perfect these expressions!
Watch how Preeti manipulates different aspects of facial expression (eyes, lips, eyebrows) to create the emotional effect.
(Note: These videos do not have voiceover/subtitles.)
Every culture uses its hand gestures for expression: in bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) these gestures are classified in minute detail. Each gesture has specific meanings and applications. Each video includes the name of different facial expressions, or "saatvika abhinaya," and hand gestures, or "mudras" in Sanskrit (the classical language of India) along with examples and applications.
Commentary & Analysis
In the video below Preeti demonstrates how she uses the classical gestural vocabulary of Indian dance to tell the story.
The Red Curtain Drawing Challenge
We challenge you to create a drawing inspired by your favorite character in Munna & the Maharaja.
Send us your drawings at firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll see them here on the site.
Meet Our Global Collaborators
Ben Foskett, Composer
Paris (FR) & London (UK)
Ben Foskett is a composer and arranger working across many different genres from classical concert music to ballet, dance, theatre, pop, film, TV and sound libraries.
Ben met Preeti when he was still a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London (back in 2002). Accosted into the world of dance by Preeti, he has since gone on to work on a number of dance pieces with her and other leading dance companies including the Ballet Boyz. His orchestral piece "From Trumpet" was commissioned by the BBC Proms.
We asked Ben some questions about his process in creating the music for "The Golden Mango"—he gave us some great answers which you can see by clicking the button. To see more about Ben and his work go to www.benfoskett.com.
Tom Lynch, Illustrator
New York (USA)
Tom is one of New York's most in-demand illustrators and commercial artists. He's designed numerous book covers for leading publishers.
He's written and illustrated numerous children's books—you can see more of his incredible work at Tom Lynch & Company.
For his version of "Aesop's Fables" he was (to his amazement) described as "a kind of genius" by the New York Times.
Tom first worked with Preeti in 2010, when he and partner Tony Reonegro created incredible set designs for her award-winning production "The Absent Lover".
We asked Tom for some background on how he became an artist—you can see his reply by clicking on the button below.