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Kathakali meets Flamenco to give Mahabharata a feminist twist

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New Delhi: Kerala’s quintessential art form, Kathakali, will meet its Spanish counterpart Flamenco to give a feminist twist to Mahabharata in the capital on Friday.

Titled ‘Draupadi’, the hour-long show combines techniques and aesthetics of the traditional Kerala dance-drama and Flamenco. Themed on an episode from the Mahabharata, it brings together the ideas of Madrid-based director Cesar Lorente Raton and his team comprising a ballerina along with half-a-dozen artistes.

Hosted by Kerala Tourism , the collaborative work will have renowned Spanish danseuse Bettina Castaño in the role of Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandava brothers.

Cesar, who shares nearly a decade-long relation with Kerala, has been artistically cooperating with Kerala Tourism from 2004. “I took one episode that I had seen being performed in Kathakali — and used it to express my concern about horrific crimes and abuse against women in all parts of the planet,” he said.

Cesar noted that Draupadi, in the Vyasa classic, was made into a commodity to be pawned during a gamble by her husband. “She is later humiliated in public. It shows how women were treated as objects as far back as 3,000 years ago. I chose this story, as it has a universal theme, which anyone can relate to,” he said.

Bijulal Narayana Pillai and Biju Kumar Gopalan Nair are the stage artistes from Kerala who would be performing. Accompanying them will be Sumesh Gopalan on the chenda and Rajeev Nalinakshan on the maddalam, besides Juan Gotan and Jesus Garrido on the guitar. Indian pop-star Suneeta Rao and singer Radakrishnan Nanu will be lending their voices.

The production will be staged at Kerala House at 7 PM.



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The Nuns In Kerala Finally Get Their Justice

Dozens of nuns, activists and advocates have protested outside a court, demanding his prosecution.

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Franco Mulakkal, bishop of the Indian city of Jalandhar, center, whom a nun has accused of rape, leaves after appearing for questioning by police in Kochi, India, Sept. 19, 2018. The bishop has denied the accusation. VOA

Indian police on Friday arrested a Catholic bishop accused by a nun of repeatedly raping her over a period of two years.

The arrest of Franco Mulakkal came after police questioned him for three days in southern Indian city of Kochi.

The nun with the Missionaries of Jesus order filed a police complaint in June accusing the bishop of raping her from 2014 to 2016.

Church, Nun
Nuns hold placards during a protest demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop in Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala, India. VOA

Mulakkal is the bishop of the northern Indian city of Jalandhar. He denied the accusations, saying the nun was angry because he had ordered her disciplined.

Police Officer Hari Sankar told The Press Trust of India news agency that Mulakkal would appear in court.

Also Read: Indian Catholic Nuns Call Out For Justice in Kerala

Dozens of nuns, activists and advocates have protested outside a court, demanding his prosecution. (VOA)