08-11-2017 09:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Two artists pay a beautiful tribute to the song
Our national song, Vande Mataram touches the soul of India like no other composition. However, many a time it has been misinterpreted and misused by nationalists and religionists. Now, two artists have put their heart and soul to revive this beautiful Sanskrit poem and restore its glory.
Swapna Maini, 33 who is a trained Kathak dancer and teaches art at her Gurgaon studio has directed a transcendental film that is a beautiful tribute to the national song. Sai Ganesh Nagpal who is a musician and student of the classical arts is the composer for the film.
The film comprises of dance performances from girls in the age group 9-16. They perform Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and Odissi, accompanied to the vocal soundtrack of Vande Mataram. It has been shot in Neemrana and Tijara, the fort palaces in Rajasthan, and in the Khajuraho group of temples.
Nagpal and Maini echoed the fact that there was a gradual disconnect with the classical arts, and the students would try and hide the fact that they're classical dancers. Somewhere it had become uncool to be associated with Vande Mataram and the essence of the poem was lost. The film is an attempt to reclaim the essence of the song which has been done with extraordinary enthusiasm by the young dancers.
A lot of credit goes to Maini who was able to draw her students from their shells. Her efforts paid as a lot of the choreography in the film ended up being done by the children themselves. Maini says, "From being embarrassed to see themselves in costume, they're now Instagramming themselves! After we finished shooting the film, they've gone back to dances classes - some are even thinking about their Arangetram!"
Nagpal composed the music based on Raag Desh. He said that when you connect with the 'bhava' of the Raag, you begin to understand the bond with Mother Earth. For Maini and Nagpal, then, it's a journey back to Bhakti. For the students, it was a chance to embrace their traditions.
'Making of Vande Mataram - A Dance Tribute' will be released on November 10.