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Prem Deewani Meera Dance Drama Enchants Audience at Kamani Auditorium

Dhun: The Art of Melody, a New Delhi-based decade old music institute, organised a dance drama ‘Prem Deewani Meera’ at Kamani Auditorium. The luminaries of the Kathak world from Pandit Jai Kishan Maharaj, Pandit Deepak Maharaj and Mamta Maharaj (sons and daughter of Padma Vibhushan late Pandit Birju ji Maharaj) to kathak performer, author and […]

Dhun: The Art of Melody, a New Delhi-based decade old music institute, organised a dance drama ‘Prem Deewani Meera’ at Kamani Auditorium. The luminaries of the Kathak world from Pandit Jai Kishan Maharaj, Pandit Deepak Maharaj and Mamta Maharaj (sons and daughter of Padma Vibhushan late Pandit Birju ji Maharaj) to kathak performer, author and art critic Dr. Chitra Sharma and Founder of Vasuki Natyashala, Guru Nandini Singh graced the occasion as guests of honour, including Inderjeet Mahajan, Chairman, Mahakali Charitable Trust as a chief guest.

The 1.5-hour-long drama, presented by 76 students, depicted the life of Sant Meerabai, a 16th century Rajput princess from Rajasthan and a mystic-poetess, from childhood, adulthood to her miraculous disappearance at the temple of Ranchorji.
Vishal Krishna, a renowned kathak dancer of Banaras gharana, a recipient of Ustad Bismilla Khan Yuva Puraskar and the grandson of legendary Kathak queen late Dr Sitara Devi, performed in the lead role as Shri Krishna while Harshit Kaur brought to life the role of Meera. Harshit learned Kathak at Kalashram under the tutelage of Vidushi Saswati Sen and Padam Vibhushan late pt. Birju ji Maharaj. Amara Kapoor, Chahat Kumar and Dr. Priyanka Gupta, students at Dhun, played the roles of child, adolescent and bride Meera, respectively.

“I am glad to be a part of Dhun’s first attempt at conducting a big scale dance drama. I am sure it will be a big success. While I have done several productions with artists such as Bollywood veteran Hema Malini, young Kathak exponent Ragini Maharaj (late pt. Birju Ji Maharaj’s granddaughter), and amazingly talented Kathak exponent Namrata Rai, it was an entirely different experience working with Dhun students and Harshit Kaur. Not only did they shower love and respect on me, but also worked hard to learn and improve their craft with my inputs. The director of Dhun Dr Amit Kaur and choreographer of the dance drama Dr Alka Yadav welcomed me as a family and accommodated all my suggestions with regards to the costume and choreography,” says Vishal Krishna.

The show started with child Meera insisting on having a statue of Shri Krishna. In the next scene, her mother casually tells her that the statue of Shri Krishna is her “Dulha” (husband). She believed it with full conviction and thus begins the journey of ‘Prem Deewani Meera’.
The dance sequences – Kathak, Ghoomar and Holi folk – added an extra charm and vibrancy to the show. The peacock dance left the 700-odd audience mesmerized.

While a lot of shows have happened on the life of Meera, what makes this dance drama unique is the depiction of how Sant Meerabai disappeared in the temple of Ranchorji. Shri Krishna himself appears in front of Meera in the last scene while everyone else freezes. He holds her hand and takes her along with him. That’s where the show ends.

“The poignant story of Meerabai brings forth a simple yet profound message that compassion resides in the heart full of love. Compassion alone can fight the negativity in society as it did in her lifetime. The ultimate goal of one’s life is to seek nirvana, that is, being subsumed in the almighty. She achieved it with Krishna bhakti,” says Dr. Alka Yadav, the director and choreographer of the show and faculty, Dhun: The Art of Melody.

“India’s cultural treasure is precious. It is our duty to preserve and share it with the society, especially children, so that the knowledge is passed on to the next generation. Our aim with this dance drama is to water the roots of classic music to produce melodious fruits in the lives of children,” says Dr Amit Kaur, Director, Dhun: The Art of Melody.
Anil Mishra and Ashish Mishra composed the music. Dr. Ravindra Sethi, chairman,
Ayudham Society, conducted a meditation session for guests to ease into the world of spirituality.

A chair was left vacant for the late Pandit Birjuji Maharaj to seek his blessings and pay tribute to his teachings.

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