When it comes to stage appearances and shows by Bollywood Divas there is never lack of fascinating and sizzling visuals equally blended with great dance, costume, makeup, hair and drama.
Recently, the dream girl of Indian Cinema Hema Malini presented her stunning daughter Esha Deol on stage with a fabulous production ‘Ramayan’ choreographed by amazingly talented and highly creative Bhushan Lakhandari.
Ramayan is one story which is performed by many artists through numerous dance styles. But Hema Malini’s Ramayan was class apart, it had the ancient epic story told in a beautifully put musical dance drama format, with perfectly choreographed dance moves that brought alive each character aptly by Bhushan ji.
There are many versions of Ramayan in Indian languages, besides Buddhist, Sikh and Jain adaptations. There are also Cambodian, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Lao, Burmese and Malaysian versions of the tale.
As a director Hema ji presented important episodes from the Bala Kanda (Marriage of Ram and Sita), Ayodhya Kanda (Ram Leaving for Exile), Aranya Kanda (Kidnapping of Sita), Kishkindha Kanda (Ram meeting Hanuma and their journey to find Sita), Sundara Kanda (Hamuman meeting Sita) and Yuddha Kanda (Victory of Ram over Ravana).
When I asked our dream girl how she felt while directing Esha as Sita, Hema ji laughed and said, “As a kid, Esha was naughty and would rarely listen to me, finally I am glad I could have my way at least on stage.”
Bhushan sir choreographed and executed each part of the dance drama so perfectly that it looked as if it was not Esha Deol telling us the story of Ramayan but it was Sita herself talking to the audience in regards to all that happened in her life with the ultimate man Rama played beautifully by super talented and very handsome Mithun Shyam.
Happy and contented Bhushan ji praised Esha’s work and said, “Esha has completely taken after her mother, she is a very fine dancer and a performer, she emotes brilliantly and understands the nuances of the character very well, I was glad to choreograph Esha as Sita.”
Talking about dancing on stage Esha said, “From a very young age, Ahaana and I would see our mother practise and rehearse tirelessly, so dance is something that came naturally to both of us.” Explaining further about how she felt while playing the complex role of Sita, Esha said, “Playing Sita is a big responsibility and I am glad it came to me at this stage of my life when I am a mother, more mature and responsible as a human being, So I feel I could do justice to playing such a beautiful character.”
Mithun Shyam who played calm and composed character of Lord Ram was actually super excited about this role, overwhelmed Mithun said, “I consider it a huge learning curve working with Bhushan ji. He is a very learned and experienced master. I got the opportunity to watch a video of his performance recorded over three decades ago. I practiced based on the choreography. It was a challenge to justify such a role. Bhushan ji himself guided and gave me some very valuable suggestions to enhance my performance. On the other hand, Esha is a pleasure to work with, she is extremely professional and carries herself with amazing grace and dignity. She was Sita to the T.”
So did Bangalore based Mithun’s dream come true meeting the dream girl, thrilled with joy Shyma further added, ‘To meet Hema ji was indeed a dream come true. When I was called for an audition I was truly stunned, I wasn’t apprehensive about being selected for the role but thrilled beyond words that I would be meeting ‘The Hema Malini’ herself. Initially, when she spoke to me I was too tongue-tied and I told her that I was unable to speak. She in her diva style laughed and spoke about dance and asked me about my training etc. Then she told me about her expectations for the role, she gave me the exact image she wanted me to portray. Later, Hema ji herself attended, checked and directed us, a dream come true for me indeed.”
Every performer has a bit of nervousness before a show, so did our gorgeous Sita felt the butterflies in her stomach too, Excited Esha replied, “Well, yes before every show one is nervous and so was I, but all the dancers, my co-actors and we all bonded well so the anxiousness was settled.”
After Sita what role would Esha be keen to play was something that was running on my mind and when I asked her about the next character she would want to portray, she gave me a very spiritual answer, she said, “I have always believed that, we do not choose what characters we want to showcase, it is the divine energy up there that chooses us to tell their stories, we are just a medium which the divine uses to narrate their lives and reach out to the audience.”
But still there must be some character that fascinates her and it would be a blessing to play that part, when quizzed about it emotional Esha answered, “When my mother used to play Meera, I would always play the young Meera, now that I am grown up, I hope I am sanctified to play the mature Meera one day.”
Ramayan directed by Hema Malini and choreographed by Bhushan Lakahdari is a visual treat, I suggest if you hear that this show is in your city or is coming to your city then please take out some time and go and see the ultimate epic presented glamorously and alluringly by the team that is known to bring alive our Indian Gods and Goddess like no one else does.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)