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The Story of Narmada​

We enter the ancient world of Central India to discover the origins of one of its most revered rivers, the river Narmada. According to legend, Narmada was created by the sweat of Shiva's deep meditation to end a long drought and famine.

This performance is based on Read and Colour River Stories, The Story of Narmada 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.


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). 

Storyteller's toolkit (Narmada)


The Storyteller's Toolkit

In the video above you see Preeti use a mixed bag of facial expressions and hand gestures ("mudras").

Now let's break this down: you'll find a series of short video clips below, in which Preeti demonstrates each gesture and the facial expressions she's chosen to use.

For each one, she includes the name in Sanskrit (the classical language of India) and some further examples and applications.

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 (Narmada)

Commentary & Analysis

In the video below Preeti demonstrates how she uses the classical gestural vocabulary of Indian dance to tell the story.

Activities (Narmada)

The Red Curtain Drawing Challenge

We challenge you to create a drawing inspired by the Story of Narmada! Create a drawing inspired by how you might save the local tribes and the environment from dams being built along the Narmada.


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

The Sacred River Narmada

Swipe or scroll through these images relating to the river Narmada, ancient and modern.

Collaborators (Narmada)


Swipe or scroll through these images relating to the river Kaveri, ancient and modern.

Meet Our Global Collaborators

Biswajit Balasubramanian

Biswajit Balasubramanian, Illustrator 
Chennai, India

Biswajit Balasubramanian (known to his friends as "Biz") is one of the best-loved cartoonists in South India, appearing in many newspapers and magazines. His endearing characters give life to a happy congregation of people and animals that populate his work. 
Apart from drawing cartoons, he regularly conducts cartoon and comics workshops across India and abroad. He has worked on several private and public commissioned projects including wall murals, his three dimensional sculptures has been an exciting foray that brings to life his world of characters. He lives in Chennai with his wife Shalini, also an artist, with whom he runs one of the leading galleries of contemporary art in India, the Forum Art Gallery

Click the button below for a video where Biswajit talks about how he came up with his wonderful illustrations.

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Jerome Korman, Composer
New York (USA)

Jerome writes: "I’m the music director of the National Dance Institute in New York City. I get to write music and work with kids…it's the best!

Through NDI I met Preeti and have been so thankful for the stylistic stews we have created. I recently composed the music for 'C is for Choreographer' for Sesame Street, a serious career highlight! In addition, just this month I partnered with All of Us Films to create a piece for the UNEP that will bring awareness about taking care of the environment. I love to play piano and percussion, and I really hope you enjoy these stories!"

Click the button for a video where Jerry talks about his process for creating the music for the "Sacred Rivers" series.

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Learn Interactive partnered with RCP on The Story of Narmada. They deliver industry-leading manager development programs focused on key transitions in any individual's career.

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