Namami Gange, a dance ballet by Hema Malini

 Namami Gange, a dance ballet by Hema Malini

Pune city is the cultural capital of Maharashtra, as the recently held Ganesh Utsav the original dream girl of Indian cinema illuminated the stage with her presence and descended as the holi river Ganga. The super stunning Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Padma Shri Hema Malini presented her larger than life dance ballet Ganga.

Hema Malini

The gorgeous dancer presented her ballet at the over packed Ganesh Krida Rangmanch in front of festival President Suresh Kalmadi, his wife Meera Kalmadi, Vice President Krishna Kumar Goyal, politician Abhay Chhajed and many more. The 90-minute dance drama based on the life of Ganga from her birth till today was marvelously presented by Hema Malini and her team of Natyavihar Kala Kendra. The show was in four parts ably choreographed by Sangeeta Natak Akademy awardee Shri Bhushan Lakandri, music composed by Padmashree Ravindra Jain, Asit Desai and his son Alaap Desai, the songs were rendered by Suresh Wadkar, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Shankar Mahadevan and Mika Singh, the grand costumes were designed by Neeta Lulla, special effects were by Vibhore Khandelwal and directed by Hema Malini herself.
Hema Malini dressed in sparking white and sliver cloths narrated the age old story of India’s holiest river. The show touched the parts of birth of Ganga, her purpose of descending on earth, episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata and finally moving on to the topic of Swatch Ganga and how it was getting polluted. I spoke with Ganga herself about her show and this is what she had to say, excerpts from the interview:

The first part of you show looked like heaven, how did you plan it?
The divine Ganga is said to be the one who immerged from the benevolent feet of lord Vishnu. The protector of the universe asks her vehemently to oblige to the great king Bhagirath and depart on her mission in the world of humans. Lord Brahma tries his utmost to contain Ganga’s powerful flow by obstructing her and trying to confine in her in his Kamandal, but fails. Ganga gushes through his Kamandal and flows away nonchalantly in her tempestuous pace. Lord Shiva who is in deep penance in his abode, Mount Kailash senses the arrival of Ganga and knowing that her uncontrollable flow could cause destruction on earth, arrests her in his Jata (matted locks) and restricts her in its confines. Ganga tries to break free but no avail. Lord Brahma emerges and appeals to Lord Shiva to free Ganga so that she can advance on her way to fulfil her mission on earth. Subsequently, Lord Shiva unfolds a single lock of hair and releases Ganga. On encountering the Lord, once released from his locks, Ganga is enchanted at the sight of the mighty Shiva and is completely mesmerized by his divine beauty. Not the one to give in to worldly emotions Lord Shiva soon blesses Ganga and affectionately directs her to set off on her path. Ganga thus leaves Mount Kailash and proceeds to the mundane world. This scene had to look like heaven. We left no stone unturned to make it look like that.

What has been the best compliment you have received for the show?
We premiered the show at the Pravasi Divas a few years back, where our honourable PM Modi ji, was the chief guest and Yogi ji was the guest of Honour, post we have performed the show at many festivals too. The most treasured compliment came from late Ms. Sushma Swaraj ji who said ‘I don’t have words about Hema Malini ji’s performance, first time ever in my life, I am taking three words from famous Television show for your performance – Adbhut, Avishwasniya and Akalpaniya’ (wonderful, unbelievable and unimaginable).

What problems did you face preparing for the show?
Ganga had always been by dream project. However, I had lost hope for it when music director Padmashree Ravindra Jain ji passed away. In fact, when Ravindra ji fell sick he had suggested me that should record a few songs on ‘Ganga’ and keep it. I did record a few tracks which Esha and Ahana performed as solo item numbers in shows. But for a full fledged dance ballet I was looking for someone who would understand the soul of the subject. That’s when popular music director Ashit Desai came on board.

Please tell me more?
I was in search of a new choreographer for Ganga as Bhushan Lakandri had decided to relocate from Mumbai but then I insisted and asked Bhushan ji to comeback for the sake of Ganga. I am glad he did and what he has created is magnificent. I just can’t imagine anyone other than Bhushan ji for my ballets, he has been with me since my first ballet Ramayan three decades ago. It’s more than 30 years of association with him and he knows what I want in terms of steps and movements.

The show has a lovely message…
Through the show we have tried to give the message of ‘Swatch Ganga Abhyan’ (Clean Ganga project), why only ganga but a message of protecting all our rivers, as each river mean life for humans and animals.

Sandip Soparrkar is a World Book Record holder, a well known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with two National Excellence awards and one National Achievement Award by the Govt of India. He can be contacted on [email protected]


News, Lifestyle & Entertainment stories - all at one place

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: