For Niranjana Anoop, it is a new chapter in life. The actor, who is known for a handful of memorable performances in Mollywood and Kollywood, is quite excited as her debut musical dance drama Govinda Madhava will be staged in November. An ardent admirer of dancer-actor Shobhana, Niranjana says watching Shobhana’s dance productions instilled in her the desire to come up with her own. “I was blessed to perform with her as well,” says an elated Niranjana.
Govinda Madhava revolves around Krishna. Niranjana says she zeroed in on the concept coincidentally. “Initially, I didn’t have Krishna on my mind. I thought of presenting a particular form of Devi, but then I felt that I couldn’t live up to that image at this age,” she says. Krishna came to picture as Niranjana went through a low phase in her life. “Everyone confronts that phase in their lifetime, and at that time, we depend upon many things to overcome it,” she says.
“What I did was reading spiritual books. More than that, I got some very special people in my life to seek advices and guidance. The power they shared with me was immense. I felt that the energy I received was from Krishna, perhaps because a lot of books I read during that time involved Krishna. Especially, in The Palace of Illusions, there is a sequence where Draupadi is helpless and Krishna sorts it out. My interpretation involves more of Krishna’s influence that helped many minds,” she explains the process.
Niranjana says she has done the recital in such a way that everyone can comprehend it. “It is not purely classical. However, elements of classical dance can be seen throughout the production,” says Niranjana, who directed and choreographed it. “It is not my first attempt in choreography,” says Niranjana. “My school days sowed the seeds of creativity in me. I used to choreograph and perform back then. I still love doing it.” Now, the world has become bigger for her and she is ready to explore it. “I am taking baby steps in this huge world.”
In the recital, Niranjana appears as Krishna along with 14 other dancers. Prominent actors Anoop Menon, Manju Warrier, Renji Panicker and Saiju Kurup have lent their voices for Krishna, Radha, Kamsa and Soothradhar respectively. Ask Niranjana about wearing the director’s hat, she says it is a huge word to nail on her. “I didn’t know I was directing until Renji Panicker uncle asked me, ‘director, is it okay for you?’ during the dubbing. Till then, I was going along with them like the kid they have known me as always -- be it Mema (Manju Warrier), Anoop uncle (Anoop Menon) or Saiju Chettan (Saiju Kurup),” says Niranjana.
She goes on to say that the experience of working on this production and handling different departments have been similar to a child reciting a nursery rhyme before an audience. “The child recites the poem purely out of his/her love towards rhyme. As they grow up, they become aware of its different aspects. For me, I am a beginner going with the flow.”
Niranjana has spent around a year to work on Govinda Madhava. “I still improvise it because confusions pop up every day,” she says and adds that she is still a learner. “Be it in dancing or acting, I’m in the process of gaining experience as a student. So, this production has a lot of things that have inspired me and are very close to my heart,” she says.
And, she is grateful to the guidance she has received from her actor-director mentors within the family like Ranjith and Revathy. “Ashamai (Revathy) got to know about this when she saw the poster a few days ago. She was really happy about it. Ranjimama (Ranjith), as always, has been there to support me. More than advices, he asked me to bring it out the way I feel and said that anything I need, I could ask him.”
Govinda Madhava will take place at Jt Pac, Tripunithura, on November 11....