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Vaigarai - A New Dawn - Synopsis
For Television
50 mins, 1999

This dance-theatre production was specially created by Arangham Trust for television on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

With the metaphor of "ahimsa" as its artistic skein, "Vaigarai" explores the concept of non-violence and its stark foe - violence. Violence by man to Nature, to mankind and to himself. But is Man the sole perpetrator of hate and destruction? If Nature bemoans her plight, then, is Nature not also capable of violence more terrible than imagination?

The simple harmony of societies and relationships is disturbed by a visitor. Who is he? What does he represent? Why is it so compelling to listen, imitate and follow him? Do we realise the seduction of success? Is the fast life-track that we are hurtled on, not a form of violence?

The strength of inner resolve and determined resistance in the face of oppression is the core of "ahimsa" as taught by the architect of India's freedom saga - Mahatma Gandhi. In a tribute to the great leader, Anita Ratnam and performers from the Arangham Dance Troupe paint a visual tapestry of Man and Nature and the terrible consequences of violence. Facing the specter of total devastation in an increasingly cynical and violent world, the dawn of a new century cries out for another "mahatma" and a new vigor to resore the dignity of life.

The presentation uses a score of just instrumental music with poetic prose in the spoken text.