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Friday, December 2, 2011

The End of Satyagraha Ushers A New Satyagraha

jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur dhruvam janma mrtasya ca
tasmad apariharye'rthe na tvam socitum arhasi


Translation: For one who has taken birth, death is certain and for one who has died, birth is certain.
Therefore in an inevitable situation understanding should prevail.

By far one of the most memorable experiences I've had in the magical and inspiring city of New York. As I left the Metropolitan Opera last showing of Satyagraha, I walked right back into the opera in the form of the Occupy Wall Street movement's assembly at Lincoln Center. I'd never really witnessed or heard the effects of the human microphone, known as "mic-check", but that too echoed the production to me, as the voices reminded me of group prayer, a moving combination of chanting and call-and-response.

I felt immensely fortunate not only to be able to witness the production before it left town, but more importantly to see so many different people reacting and interacting in and with the general assembly. It's moments like this that recenter you, and make you aware of your history in your present. The uncanny timing of the opera still amazes me for some reason. I love what Seth Colter Walls had to say about it, so I will refer you to his piece found here, at The Awl.


Below is the what the opera's composer, Philip Glass, had to say:




He basically read Ghandi's part from Act III of Satyagraha (the entire opera is adapted from the Bhagavad Gita) which states: "The Lord said, I have passed through many a birth and many have you. I know them all but you do not. Yet by my creative energy, I consort with Nature and come to be in time. Whenever the law of righteousness withers away and lawlessness arises then do I regenerate myself on earth. I come into being age after age and take a visible shape and move a man with men for the protection of good, thrusting the evil back and setting virtue on her seat again."

Here are some glimpses of the opera:










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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?

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