Chitrangada – Photograph 1

Series nameChitrangada

This is a photograph of Pushpalata Dance Company’s performance of Rabindranath Tagore’s dance-drama ‘Chitrangada’. In this scene Chitrangada prays to Kamadev (cupid). As she does not feel attractive enough, she asks him to be turned into a beautiful woman so she can win Prince Arjuna’s affections. The dancers from left to right are: Sandeep Garcha as Chitrangada and Machthild Buntton as Kamadev.

Date of Creation / Publication2000
Associated Person/ OrganisationPawar, Priya; Garcha, Sandeep
Collection and Reference NumberPushpalata Dance Company (GB 2661 PD)
Catalogue NumberPD/CH/3
Access to originalsThe originals belong to Priya Pawar.
Series notesChitrangada is a dance-drama written by Bengali poet, artist and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1936. Pushpalata Dance Company performed it in 2000. Chitrangada is a mythological episode taken from the Indian epic Mahabharata. It recounts a complicated love affair between Arjuna, a warrior and brother of the exiled Pandavas, and Chitrangada, the Princess of Manipur. The God Shiva grants the King of Manipur a boon guaranteeing he will only produce male progeny. When Princess Chitrangada is born, the King decides to raise her as a male heir and teaches her the arts of weaponry and warfare. Chitrangada meets Prince Arjuna by chance in Manipur and falls in love with him. However, Arjuna is committed to a twelve year period of celibacy. Pawar and her dancers capture Chitrangada’s pursuits through a stylistic blend of Kathak and Odissi. The performance toured at The Bull theatre in Barnet in June 2001 and the Paul Robeson Theatre in Hounslow in September 2001. The digitised items include flyers, programmes and photographs from the performance.
Collection notesThe digitised materials from the Pushpalata Dance Company consist of documentation such as flyers and photographs of Priya Pawar’s performances such as ‘Chitrangada’, ‘Chandalika, The Outcaste’, Kathak-Odissi performances and various others. In addition, photographs and leaflets relating to her previous dance company, Triveni, her community, outreach and education work and biographical information are also included.