Gandhi and Rukmini Devi: this dance production weaves their common stories

Shanthi Sutra – Thread of Peace, is a Bharatanatyam production by Kalakshetra Foundation exclusively for educational institutions in the backdrop of Gandhi Parv, the 150th birth celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.

Commissioned earlier and staged at many centres, the show now happens in Chennai - September 16, 17, 18 from 1:30pm- 3:00pm at Bharata Kalakshetra Auditorium, Kalakshetra Foundation, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

Here is a note about Shanthi Sutra -

To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, at the behest of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, that is celebrating a series of activities under the umbrella of Gandhi Parv, the Kalakshetra Foundation is presenting Shanthi Sutra. 

Shanthi Sutra premiered in October 2018 as a commissioned work for Gandhi Parv. 

Since then, the production has been performed at National School of Drama, New Delhi and Music Academy, Chennai. The dance production, in Bharatanatyam, captures in its form and content, the common threads that connect two of India’s key influencers - Mahatma Gandhi and Kalakshetra’s founder Rukmini Devi Arundale - and celebrates the threads that best represent their interconnectedness.

Speaking about these two visionaries and what binds them together, Chennai-based Dr V R Devika of The Aseema Trust, an authority on both Gandhi and Rukmini Devi, who helped with the content and research for the production says, event says, “While one spun the thread during the freedom struggle for the country, the other wove the thread into the fabric of new age dance and textile post-independence for the nation’s betterment.”

Kalakshetra’s director Revathi Ramachandran, who has conceived and directed the production says, “We have weaved the five key elements that connect Gandhiji and Rukmini Devi together into this creation. Both of them, in a sense, stood for self-esteem, passion for education, non-violence, a non-consumerist view of the environment we live in, an acceptance of all gods as one, and needless to say, their love for Rama and what He stood for. The production is really the possibility of the audience to immerse themselves and internalise the values these two key leaders stood for, values that are very relevant especially in the world we live in."

Revathi adds that the shows are for educational institutions this year, with the aim to draw the attention of the youth to the Gandhian principles, which can influence the younger mind to work tirelessly so as to contribute to society”. 

In the last week of September, Shanthi Sutra travels to South Africa for a three-city tour to celebrate Gandhi Parv.