The Story of Ganga

We enter a world of ancient Hindu mythology: the origins of the mighty river Ganga, brought down from the heavens by the great sage Bhagiratha to cleanse the sins of his ancestors with her pure waters.

This performance is based on Read and Colour River Stories, The Story of Ganga by Priya Krishnan, illustrated by Uma Krishnaswamy, and published by Tulika. It has been adapted with original music and illustration for The Red Curtain Project.

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Thresh and the Red Curtain Project is proud to partner with Tulika, an independent, multilingual publisher of children's books that pioneered a fresh wave in Indian publishing when it was founded in 1996 (winner of the 2019 London Book Fair Award for Excellence in Literary Translation Initiative). 

 

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 The Story of Ganga. Create a drawing that illustrates how you would save the might Ganga from pollution. Let's see what happens to your chosen characters when you let your imagination run wild!

 

Send us your drawings at info@threshdance.org and you'll see them here on the site.

The Sacred River Ganga

Learn about the river Ganges through these images: