Rarely, one hears of dreaming dance or dancer’s dream or a dream dance production. Normally, in the dance world of India, mediocrity prevails and nightmares is what is the leitmotif - of survival, succeeding, even seduction by routine of awards and tours, honours and glories, institutional grants and grouses against govt. patronage systems. Dance comes last, especially in metro India. So, what of smart cities? (polite word for non-metros but no less important, tier two cities). Like Pune, inaugurated by the PM as the first one such one, just last month.
Pune is different. Self-sufficient, insular and bindaas. Unemotional. Practical. Almost unmindful of the rest of the world. But dreaming and making dreams come true. I ask senior Kathakaar Shama Bhate, now guru, also daughter-in-law of the late much loved Guru Rohini Bhate, what made her do that complicated production on Mahabharata last year, which involved six to seven star dancers drawn from different forms and states and countries. Ramli Ibrahim from Malaysia did minimal Orissi; Vaibhav Arekar from Mumbai showcased excellent Bharatanatyam; Gopika Varma from Chennai illustrated the beauty and charm of Mohiniattam and Vyjayanthi Kashi from Karnataka did filmy, over the top Kuchipudi. Add local talents of Kathak, Shama Bhate’s own Nad-Roop group, from which Ameera Patankar and Avani showed merit. To get dates of these stars of styles from all over for next show itself is herculean, so how does such a big production, recover costs? She answered simply: “We had one show after the premier in Pune and may have one in Bangalore. But it was my dream to do such a production so I did it!” Simple and straightforward answer, deep and meaningful, just like her.
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