One of the most endearing features of Indian culture, music and dances is their universal appeal, attracting people of other ethnicities and nationalities.
Taj Mahal: A Dance Drama, scheduled to be held at the ASB Theatre in Aotea Centre in Auckland City on March 31, 2012, will bear testimony to that belief, if the interest evinced by the resident communities thus far is any indication.
Our auditions for instance, held in Auckland on April 30 and May 1, were attended by more than 100 men, women and younger members of the society, eager to obtain a role in what promises to be a spectacular show.
‘Taj Mahal’ would be a massive production, with colourful costumes, lilting music and most important of all, a blend of several forms of Indian dances. These could include Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Mohini Attam, Kathak and a few other forms that are popular in the state of Kerala in South India.
This Dance Drama will bring together artistes performing different traditional styles of Indian dances on the same stage, giving vent to their talent.
We were pleased that the audience will have a unique opportunity of witnessing the performance of the students of the Auckland based Arabesque Dance School.
Aishwarya Entertainments Limited, an Event Management Company, which is producing the programme, has brought together a number of professionals to take responsibility in various areas of production to ensure that ‘Taj Mahal’ lives up to its promise of delivering the theme of romance, respect and man’s anguish over the loss of his partner.
New Zealanders are increasingly being captivated by the richness of India’s past and contemporary culture, an evidence of which is the inclusion of ‘Indian Segments’ in the Auckland Arts Festival and other events held throughout the year.
While Bollywood had made its impact among the film-going public, artistic expositions are also evincing widespread interest among the Indian Diaspora and other ethnic communities.
A Project such as ‘Taj Mahal,’ with its colourful costumes draped in equally colourful history, will indubitably attract a cross-section of the society here.
The Company has commissioned Narsing Rao, a dance director and choreographer based in Hyderabad, India to select dancers and other artists, choreograph scenes and provide a training programme to groom their talent.
Mr Rao was in Auckland in April to attend to initial tasks and select dancers and other artistes.
Rehearsals for the Programme will commence in October.
Built over a period of 22 years in the 17th Century, Taj Mahal is a magnificent edifice in memory of Mumtaz, the wife of Shah Jahan, an emperor of the Mughal era.
More than 20,000 were involved in its construction. UNESCO has accorded the statue of a “World Heritage Site’ to Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal is also cited as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Sasi Nambissan is Director of Aishwarya Entertainments Limited, an Event Management Company based in Auckland.