“If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.” Geena Davis.
After almost 15 years of research on Meera’s life, my biggest risks and challenge in making ‘Meera,’ the production was to bring a story of ancient 16th Century India, to now.
A story from East to West: To make sense of this intense love story between a mortal and an immortal beyond logic and rational among the millennials. To take all the religious component out of the story of ‘Meera’ and bring her passionate Love for Krishna as the main source of her strength and existence. To show ‘Meera,’ a Royal woman from the ancient India as a strong feminist, with ideologies that were before her time.
And the biggest challenge was to create a story that was globally palatable and resonated with the wider audience.
New Genre, confluence
To bring all the above to life, I had to come up with a completely new genre. Something that was more than theatrical or Musical. We came up with a production that is a confluence between a theatrical, musical and narration which incorporates intense drama, more than eight different dance genres, melodiously created music, elaborate costumes, state-of-art technology using stage projections and mapping.
When a production has so many moving parts, it comes with a lot of human input. Untiring efforts, persistence and endurance become the major element of the creation. That was what went in making of ‘Meera’ in Gold Coast. A huge cast and crew of 300 were involved, day in and day out to bring this dream to reality.
When the dream came to reality, its aspirations and intentions only grew bolder and bigger. We took a step to go international and we plunged into it straight away.
Raising the level of excellence
This Australian production in its very second run is coming to New Zealand, starting the tour from Auckland.
We aim to create ‘Meera’ even more intense, her love story more tangible; and we want to take the entire production to yet another level of excellence. All of this has been possible with undeterred dedication, determination, efforts and love of the entire cast and crew of local artists for ‘Team Meera’ in Auckland and Australia.
The actors have gone through extensive studying of their characters, character-building exercises, wearing their characters physically through intense makeup looks and heavy elaborate costumes. Memorising lengthy scripts, understanding the story and script at the deeper level, team building activities. All of this and much more has been executed by the entire cast with big smiling faces and passionate hearts.
Amalgamation of Dances
The amalgamation of different dance genres like Indian Classical, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Body Percussion, Belly Dancing, Aerial Dancing, Pole Dancing and even Haka Dance has been an extensive creative affair which has been consumed by many hours of exhausting rehearsals. But the teams glowing faces have kept us motivated throughout.
None of the above would be possible without a rock-solid administration and marketing team. The administration team behind Wild Dreamer Productions is a powerhouse filled with a “Never give-up’ attitude. The team’s unison approach, infectious zeal and focussed vision to achieve the best with integrity and harmony is speaking volumes, loud and clear from everyone involved with this production in Auckland.
Generous Sponsors and Supporters
This journey has brought us in contact and collaboration with some extremely generous and helpful supporters and sponsors from the wider Auckland community. On behalf of ‘Team Meera’ and Wild Dreamer Productions, I thank all of them for their immense trust in us. They have also showered on us their grace and love.
Among them are Indian Newslink, AUT University, Radio Tarana, Servilles Academy, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Epicer Restaurant, TAPAC (The Auckland Performing Arts Centre), The Dance studio, Red Bull, Teddy Lane, Colour Junkie, Phoenix Belly Dance and Navrasa Dance Academy, to name a few.
With so many hearts and souls involved in a production, it is natural to feel the magic and I am positive that the thousands of New Zealanders will be at the ASB Waterfront Theatre from May 31 to June 2 2019, to feel the Magic of Love.
Aarti Bajaj is the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Wild Dreamer Productions. She is the Producer, Director and Choreographer of ‘Meera,’ a touching tale of Romance with exquisite settings and effects. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
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“Joy knows no bounds when Krishna is around; Life is meaningless without him.” Local talent abounds Meera in New Zealand (Pictures Supplied)