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From the President

(Global Performing Arts, Washington DC) 

The most significant fact of modern days is that the West has met the East and such a momentous meeting of humanity, in order to be fruitfal, must have at its heart some great emotional idea, generous and creative...  Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Laureate

This "momentous meeting" that Tagore referred to in the last century is most evident today in the field of the Arts. It is through the celebration of the Arts, the sharing of the Arts that we as citizens of the world can help to break the artificial borders, transcend borders and boundaries, and build bridges that reach a common humanity, a harmonious and truly global community.

Global Performing Arts through its endeavours in the past eight years, has been making a special effort to present programs encompassing various art forms. All Art is related and interdependent. Our present offering, The Life of Gautama Buddha, is a fine example of many different art forms woven together to produce a rich and colourful tapestry. For centuries the life of Buddha - the philosophy, myth, history and legend - has been conveyed through literature and art using a variety of styles and genres documenting the past, present and looking into the future. This offering is yet another modest attempt.

The beautiful story of Prince Siddhartha - his childhood and youth, romance, marriage and fatherhood, leading to the Enlightenment and finally, Nirvana, is captured with amazing depth and sensitivity through the script and direction of Lushin Dubey and Bubbles Sabharwal.  

The charming simplicity of dialogue is unique and has a universal appeal. The story is portrayed through clever, creative dance movements. The fusion choreography of Santosh Nair and the delicate nuances of the Kathak choreography by Malti Shyam carries the weight of the play. The melodious on is is appropriately used to enhance the mood and create a greater impact. All these characteristics are conveyed through brilliant performances by Sumanta Chattopadhyaya as Siddharth / Buddha, llina Dubey as Yashodhara, and the rest of the cast. From the early days, twenty-five hundred years ago, Buddhist ethics and teachings have adapted themselves to the spiritual needs of a modern contemporary world. Today, living in a war-torn world we are consumed by the problems of human existence, of life and death and suffering - the same that tormented the young Prince Siddhartha. The tragic happenings of September 2001 have made us aware about the fragility of life and the senselessness of war. The teachings of Buddha are more relevant, more essential, more meaningful today than ever before. The four great jewels of Buddhism - Maitri (loving-kindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (goodness) and Upeksha (forgiveness) lend a new awareness, bring a new awakening in each individual, without indoctrination or conditioning. Buddha can manifest as a mother, father, friend, teacher or companion.

May the blessing, compassion, enlightenment, wisdom and love of Buddha be with you.

The pert toe of flowers goes not against the wind, not even the per/tone of sandalwood, of rosebay, or of jasmine, but the pet:One of virtue travels against the wind and reaches into the ends of the world................ (The Dhammapada, verse 54)  

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