In­dra Sabha: Blend­ing two di­verse cul­tures

Millennium Post - - Around Town - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

A FINE EX­AM­PLE of Indo-mus­lim cul­ture of the 19th Cen­tury is the mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion ‘In­dra Sabha’ based on the rich her­itage of thumri, dadra, and ghazal.

Con­cep­tu­alised and chore­ographed by Dr Uma Sharma, Padma Bhushan awardee and writ­ten by Amanat Ali, the show pro­vides a glimpse into the re­gal splen­dour of the court of Nawab Wa­jid Ali Shah, last King of Oudh.

To be held on No­vem­ber 18, 6:30 pm, at Shankar Lal Hall, Moder School, New Delhi, the event will be graced by em­i­nent per­son­al­i­ties in­clud­ing Jaya Prada – In­dian film ac­tress, Am­jad Ali Khan – In­dian mu­sic per­former, Dr Sub­hash Goel, Pan­dit Birju Ma­haraj, Sonal Mans­ingh, Ka­mal Modi, Chair­man, Art Karat, Uma Va­sudev – Writer, Aruna Va­sudev – Writer, Ashok Pratap Singh, Dr Vi­nay Bharat Ram, Dr Suresh K Goel and oth­ers.

A great con­nois­seur and pa­tron of the arts, the leg­endary Nawab’s knowl­edge and in­ter­est in the Hindu mythol­ogy en­abled him to en­twine the two cul­tures sen­si­tively and imag­i­na­tively, thus cre­at­ing a mys­ti­cal ‘In­dra-sabha, a fan­tasy of the royal court in heaven, ruled by the King of Clouds. The Nawab’s pas­sion for po­etry, mu­sic, dance, and drama was so great that he cre­ated two fa­mous mu­si­cals dur­ing his reign and also played the lead char­ac­ters in them.

In ‘In­dra –Sabha’, the heav­enly courtiers are of Gand­har­vas, Deos, Ap­saras, and Hoories. The ‘Kaal’ a sym­bolic of ‘Time’ in the cos­mic sense is rep­re­sented by Deo, dis­play­ing the con­flict be­tween heaven and earth in a light­hearted and en­ter­tain­ing way.

The mu­si­cal was orig­i­nally writ­ten by Amanat Ali in 1852 and was per­formed at Ke­sar Bagh ka Chau­raha, in Luc­know, where the Nawab played the role of In­dra.

Dr Uma Sharma has been work­ing with the script of In­dra-sabha given by Mulk Raj Anand and has been busy do­ing the re­search on this mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion and has been train­ing all the par­tic­i­pat­ing artist based on the rich her­itage of Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal for the

last one year.

Late Naina Devi, a fa­mous Thumri singer, was also as­so­ci­ated with this mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion.

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