New Delhi, May 1 (PTI) The popular mythological tale of the mighty Durga combating demonic forces and the story of Meera’s selfless devotion for Krishna will come alive in dance recitals at an upcoming festival here. Also Read - New Delhi, Goa and Mumbai Top Booked Destinations by Indians During Valentine’s Week

The Summer Ballet Festival, set to begin from May 5, will re-interpret age-old stories through dance forms like Kathak, Odissi and Chau. Also Read - Mughal Gardens to Open For Public From THIS Date, Entry Through Online Booking Only | Check Timing, Other Details

Presented by Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, the four-day festival will also attempt to break gender based stereotypes, with men taking the stage, playing not just the male characters but also many of the female ones. Also Read - Costliest 'Ghagra'? Drugs Worth Rs 1.7 Crore Hidden in Lehengas That Were Being Sent to Australia

“I wanted to re-interpret these stories in a way which is relevant to our society today. Each character symbolises the dilemmas and traumas of modern-day society, each woman defies the male order and each demon that lurks in every corner is slayed by strong powerful and independent women.

“We are bending all gender rules here, and the audience will see a man playing Durga which will become apparent only when the costume comes off,” says festival director, Shobha Deepak Singh.

While Kathak dancer Molina Singh will be playing Meera on stage, Odiya dancer Shiburam Mohant as Durga, will narrate how the goddess defeated the demon king Mahishasura.

The fascinating tale of Karna from Hindu epic “Mahabharata” will be performed in Mayurbhanj Chau style by Swapan Majumdar.

“Karna’s life is a study of relations between man and his destiny. For no other character in the ‘Mahabharata’ have the circumstances remained so hostile. His anger raises questions of ‘dharma’ and ‘truth’.

“It also brings to light the little known facet of Draupadi’s life whose relationship with Karna is portrayed beautifully and sensitively through verses from Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s famous book on Karna – ‘Rashmi Rathi’,” says Singh.

The festival will also witness a sensuous dance performance inspired by Khajuraho.

“Khajuraho was choreographed by late K C Naik that was first performed at the Kendra in 1984 and it still continues to regale the audience with its impeccable grammar and style,” says Singh.

The festival which will be held at Kamani Auditorium here will culminate on May 12.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.