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The Story of Kaveri

We enter the world of two southern states in India where the "Ganga of the South" - the river Kaveri emerges. Follow the delightful story of a crow toppling the religious pot of a meditating holy man (the rishi Agastya) to give birth to a magnificent river.


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

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.)

Storytellers Toolkit Kaveri

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.

C & A (Kaveri)

Commentary & Analysis

There's a lot going on in Indian classical dance, even in a short sequence such as this. In the video below Preeti talks you through how she's using the classical gestural vocabulary to tell the story.

Activities (Kaveri)

The Red Curtain Drawing Challenge

We challenge you to create a drawing inspired by The Story of Kaveri. Pick your favorite character in the story (Kaveri, Agastya, Indra, Surapadman, or Ganesha) and imagine them becoming somebody, or something, else (like Ganesha turning into a crow). Let's see what happens to your chosen characters when you let your imagination run wild!


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

What's in the illustration?

Our illustrator for this series, the much-loved Indian artist and cartoonist Biswajit Balasubramanian always packs a lot of action into his drawings. You can roll over (or tap on) the red dots on the drawing below to find out what's going on!

The Sacred River Kaveri

Learn more about the sacred River Kaveri by clicking through the images in the slideshow below.