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Epic Love Story

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
By Deepa Gahlot

The cycle of love is eternal — meeting, romancing, separation, reunion. Anita Kulkarni’s dance drama, Meet Me On The Meadow, links the epic story of Radha and Krishna to that of every man and woman, as they dance to the timeless song of love.

US-based Kulkarni runs Renu Arts Foundation with the idea drawing on the classical arts. “Fusions, a blend of fine trends, is viewed as a larger canvas and a new insight into musical energy. While the stage productions are brilliantly ‘visual’ and always carrying a holistic message, the Renu Art Appreciation programmes are designed for Audience Development for an experience in Poetry, Tradition, Rasa (Musical Emotion) and Taal (rhythm) states the foundation’s website.”

Meet Me On The Meadow (Makarand Brahme is the creative consultant) has been designed for a wider audience base in India and abroad, using a now popular multi-media format, with projection, animation, art, poetry, music and dance coming together to tell the story of  young man and woman in love. To make the production easier to travel with, the back-up dancers are on film on three screens, and the device seems to work to an extent, though it cannot be a replacement for live dancing.

Sharvari Jameinis and Nakul Ghanekar are two the dancers, and both have the stage presence and mobility of expression to convey the various emotions they go through – the flirtation, the playful game of dice, the pain of separation and the effort of uniting.

The dances have a classical base, but are contemporanised ways to appeal to audiences that stay away from classical performances in the belief that they would not ‘understand’. The lines of poetry used to explain the progression of the story are in English, but the effect is not jarring. This also makes it possible to adapt the show into multiple languages, using the same choreographed sequences – and it is in the works already.

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