Radha and Krishna in Poetry, Art and Music
The love story between Radha and Krishna is one of the most celebrated themes in Indian religion, literature, art and music. As early as the 12 th century, the poetry of the Gita Govinda elevates the figures to that of a divine couple and explores the emotional aspects of beauty, longing, devotion and the beloved. As this interpretive process develops over time, aesthetic appreciation and spiritual contemplation coalesce. By the 16 th and 17 th century, painters try to capture the subtleties of their love visually and a new genre of music is produced to enhance the effect. Music is used to bring the paintings to life for the audience by evoking the time of day, season and mood.
Following the lines of this Indian tradition, the seminar will explore the love of Radha and Krishna through a multimedia presentation which includes the poetry of the Gita Govinda, selected paintings which illustrate key episodes of the story and accompanying Indian music.
Music by Patrick Parola
Lecture by Dr. Brenda Cantelo
Senior Fellow and Dean of Studies
St. John’s College
University of Manitoba
Brenda Cantelo holds a PhD (1998) in Religion from the University of Manitoba with a concentration in Hinduism and painting. Her main area of teaching and research is Religion and the Arts, and within that, she specializes in Religion and Dance and the Religious Art and Architecture of India . Her publications include: The Paintings of Kumod Sharma, Drawing From Faith: The Jain Paintings of Manju Lodha, “Dance, Healing and Identity: Applications and Theoretical Concerns,” and “Art as a Way of Knowledge.” Cantelo is also active as a curator, choreographer and film maker, and has curated ten art exhibitions and directed four videos in the area of Religion and the Arts: “Animus,” “Sanctus,” “Carry Me Home,” and “An Interview with Margie Gillis.” Her newest collaborative dance/music project is “Bodies of Water” (2015) featuring composer Dr. Gordon Fitzell and award winning choreographer, Stephanie Ballard. She is currently researching Mary Wigman’s movement choirs of the 1920s as a basis for a new video. Cantelo teaches in the Department of Religion and is Senior Fellow and Dean of Studies at St. John’s College at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.