Krishna’s Dark Son explores the life of Samba

If you thought Krishna was infamous for his naughtiness, wait till you hear the less heard tale of his son Samba, who was destined to destroy the Yadava dynasty
Aparna Kumar as Samba in Krishna's Dark Son
Aparna Kumar as Samba in Krishna's Dark Son

Sourced primarily from the Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishna’s Dark Son, directed by V Balakrishnan and presented by Theatre Nisha, tells the story of Samba, son of Jambavati and Krishna. “The story was specifically chosen because even though many people know about Krishna's first son Pradyumna, not many people know about  his other son Samba, who was born by the grace of Shiva and he was supposed to embody the spirit of both men and women, and he was supposed to look exactly like Krishna. That is why iwe have called the play Krishna’s Dark Son and the fact that he is the one who was born and with the prophecy surrounding him that he will be responsible for the destruction of the entire Yadava clan,” Balakrishnan tells us.

A one-person play, it is performed by Aparna Kumar, who says, “I performed this play for the first time in 2018. Initially, I used the long stick, and now we are also starting to explore a bit of double stick fighting. While in terms of the script, it has remained the same, the design has changed over the years. This time, we are trying to explore a new design, which is using short sticks, because the place where we are going to perform is quite intimate.”

Talking about how she prepared for this solo show, she says, “The preparation started with learning all the lines, and and then we kind of unitised the play and divided it into narrative description and dialogue; and there are places that required some kind of movement or music, so we've incorporated that."

Aparna Kumar
Aparna Kumar

The story begins with the birth of Samba, and travels through incidents in his life, particulrly the curses which kind of leads to the destruction of the Yadava clan. Aaprna says, “I enter as a narrrator, who begins the story of Samba, and the story progresses, I begin to speak in first person, enacting the role of  Samba, who's telling his story.”

The play is a part of O2 Rendezvous with Art series. Vijay Viswanathan, founder and director,  Alchemy Arts & Education Foundation, says, “O2 Rendezvous with Art series is envisioned as a platform for artists to experiment, innovate and push their boundaries of artistic expression. O2 is happy to present Krishna’s Dark Son, the story of an unexplored character, Sambha, whose unique story, we believe will engage and captivate the audience. Providing a stage for such innovative original work, makes our O2 series very special and we are glad that Theatre Nisha could be a part of this.”

Rs 250. June 24. 6.45 pm. 
At Alchemy Black Box Adyar.

rupam@newindianexpress.com

@rupsjain

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