Auckland, May 13, 2019
Less than 20 days to go, and the journey flashes by my mind’s eyes million times a day.
A dreamer, a woman, who thought, “will I ever be able to create beyond boundaries, reach the wider global audience, hold the flag of commercial sustainability of art with pride like all other professions in this rational world?”
My fears and doubts were obviously weaker than the intensions and the passion that has been driving the vision.
Wild Dreamer Productions, which started with one wild dreamer, today boldly and proudly endorses the fact that more then 500 amazing wild dreamers have come in direct contact with the production house in just the past two years.
A constructive approach with togetherness has such powerful energy that only humans can bring to manifestation.
And every time I felt that the finish line seemed unachievable, this immense force from humanity has always lifted me up.
The untiring, resilient, passionate team behind ‘Meera,’ the production in Auckland, is the living example of how unity brings magic to life.
I thank Auckland and New Zealand for welcoming the production with such warmth and open mindedness. Art holds no value un till it reaches its enthusiastic, appreciating audience. And it fills my heart with gratitude and joy to see city full of art lovers.
With indefatigable dreams in my eyes, diligent and conscientious admin team, consummate and proficient performers, I look forward to having you all as our prestigious audience at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland from May 31 to June 2, 2019.
Every time I hear someone mention that ‘Meera’ is an Indian thing, an Indian Production or just for Indian audience, the question that arises in me is when a show like ‘My Fair Lady’ or ‘Beauty and Beast’ is staged, how many say that it is a White or a Caucasian Show?
Just like ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Beauty and Beast’ are stories, so is ‘Meera.’
It just so happens that the story of ‘Meera’ is of a Royal Indian Princess from the 16th Century North India. But that doesn’t mean it is a story just for Indians.
Aladdin is a story from the Middle East, but it has never been for only Middle East audience.
There are different forms of Art, and they all vary depending on the place of their origin.
But it’s all Arts.
Art is a powerful, magical, transformative and life changing experience.
But when categorised in different boxes and caged in limited boundaries, it paralyses the creativity and loses its capacity to enchant the souls.
Today, the world is one big little global village, and it’s about time we feel as internationalists within, as soon will the time come, we will be called citizens on Earth when travelling to Mars. People from all around the world today migrate to various places. Migration not only brings people of different race, colour and ethnicity across borders, it also brings the food, their art forms, their culture across, which in turn makes human life richer as there is more to learn and share.
Sad but inspiring incident
A six-year-old daughter of my friend (of Indian origin) was told by her non-Indian friend at School that she can never become the Princess in her School play as she is not fair skinned.
I was deeply saddened that a child was subject to such conversation.
Is there any wonder that we have such an intense hate, prejudice, judgement and divide among adults?
The incidence inspired me, and I chose to break the rules.
This is what real Art does? When art breaks the rules, most compelling conversations begin.
It reveals and glorifies the power of vulnerability of humankind.
I created ‘Meera’ in the most globally palatable form, took a colour-blind casting approach for inclusive art environment. This is a love story of an Indian princess, who falls in love with an (immortal) God from a young age of five, goes to her teenage and her adulthood.
I created a cast of drama characters where our little Meera is Caucasian, Little Krishna (Meera’s Love interest) is Indian, Teenage Meera is Caucasian and Teenage Krishna is Indian.
Adult Meera and Adult Krishna are of Indian heritage.
Meera’s grandfather is Maori, Meera’s husband is half Samoan and half Sri Lankan. Her sister in law (Villain) is Filipino.
While choosing such a cast from various diverse ethnic backgrounds, my aim to make the story powerful and engage the audience sans colour or cultural background.
We have eight different dance genres, like Indian Classical, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Aerial, Pole, Belly Dancing and Indian Contemporary in the production that will take the story to a completely different realm.
A state-of-art projection mapping will be used to create the back in time and ethereal feel.
Above all, the entire production is in English to reach a wider audience.
So how can ‘Meera’ be stated as a production just for the Indian audience?
Broad vision needed
We live in the best times, where knowledge, awareness and training are at our fingertips through various online platforms.
Let us not stay ignorant anymore. Let us not keep following the same old prejudice and norms.
Let us make a better inclusive society that is ready to break the stereotypes and prejudices.
By doing so, Art will grow. The sustainability of art and artistes will not just be a dream.
Let us think out of the box by stepping out of our usual habits.
You might just fall in love with the new world.
Aarti Bajaj is the Producer, Director, Choreographer of ‘Meera,’ in which she plays the lead role. This massive production, comprising more than 200 artistes, of which more than 120 are from New Zealand, will be staged at the ASB Waterfront Theatre from May 31 to June 2, 2019. For tickets, please visit www.asbwaterfronttheatre.co.nz
YouTube: Subscribe Meera The Production