As an advanced student of Hindi in North India, Chitra Visweswaran was enchanted by the poetry of Meera. Perhaps, that is how her devotion to Meera happened. However, this dance creation came her way only recently. The production is being showcased under the aegis of the South Indian Cultural Association (SICA) at Ravindra Bharathi on Monday.
Chitra says, “Meera has time and again been an inspiration for many creative people in the field of theatre, dance, music and films. For me, this production came out of the blue. Around March 2016, AIM for SEVA organisation founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswati suggested this dance production along with music composition by Bombay Jayashri for a series of fundraising programmes in the United States. Bombay Jayashri and I met to work on the lyrics and music. It was a spiritual journey for both of us. The subject was not new to us, as I had individually showcased many short works on Meera while Bombay Jayashri had already been singing about Meera. It was imperative for me to take the original lyrics of Meera without any translation, as I firmly believe that dance and music are a language in themselves. We did nearly 18 programmes in the US and the UK apart from the premiere in Chennai.”
Chitra feels that it was more important to convey the spiritual journey of Meera than the historical story. “After all, Meera was born a princess and married into a royal family, but still did not lose her focus in search of her Giridhari. It was vital to convey her determination to detach from the material world in her quest for Krishna. In today’s world, when it’s hard for everyone to stay away from material things, Meera is an example of attaining the goal by sacrifice.” Further adding Chitra shares, “The younger generation is intelligent and brilliant. They can get any information on the internet which can support them in their quest for knowledge. But nothing can replace the smell of a book. Seeing the temple architecture and sculptures are an experience in itself. Today, young dancers are multi-talented in the form of dancing, singing, writing and oratory skills. But imbibing knowledge from an Acharya (teacher) will only keep their body and soul together. It’s very appreciative that in spite of many distractions the younger generation finds time for the classical dance. I have fond memories of having performed in Hyderabad near Tank Bund, Shilparamam and other cities in Andhra Pradesh.”