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June 14, 2024

Theatre review: Muzaffar Ali and Kabir Bedi reunite on stage

Karishma Sain
At the end of October, when a slight nip fills the air of Delhi and the floss silk tree blooms at the corner of Kamani Auditorium, signaling the beginning of the theatre season, a much-awaited event will add a sense of excitement for theatre lovers.
Kabir Bedi
The city is holding its breath – amongst the much-awaited list of events, a spectacular performance, rich with the best talents, will be taking center stage. When two great masters come together with a brilliant writer, you can expect something exceptional to emerge. ‘Ananda: Eyes of the Healer’, directed by the Maestro Muzaffar Ali and narrated in the resonant voice of Kabir Bedi, promises to be a treat for the senses and the soul.
This upcoming performance is not just your average theatrical experience; it’s a musical dance drama charged with profound human emotions. The theme and storyline of the play are compelling, exploring the journey of Ananda, a passionate young man and seeker who challenges accepted boundaries to find a deeper meaning in life. His journey is rewarded with healing powers that transform him into a messiah, a character filled with complexity as he faces temptation in the form of a seductress sent to lead him away from his path.
The struggle of Ananda begins when he sets his eyes on Maya, a young queen who seeks his blessings, creating a compelling narrative. It gently weaves in a love story as Maya, the young queen and bride, finds her redemption in her unconditional devotion to Ananda. Their love story becomes a beautiful portrayal of love’s purity, an infinite and unwavering bond.
Nelofar Currimbhoy, the creative force behind this theatrical masterpiece, has taken a bold step into the world of theater, showcasing her remarkable ability to craft narratives that resonate with the human soul. Muzaffar Ali, serving as both the composer and director, infuses the play with his keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of classical and contemporary art forms. His innovative approach includes surreal projections, blending imagery from his paintings with real-life landscapes, creating a visually stunning experience that will leave the audience in awe.
The choreography for this grand performance is the result of the creative genius of Shivani Varma and Aneesha Grover. They have woven a tapestry of movements that will enhance the storytelling through dance. Accompanying them is the Jyotsna Shourie dance company, who will bring these meticulously crafted steps to life on the stage.
Aneesha Grover, one of the choreographers, sheds light on the creative process, “Working with an industry stalwart like Muzaffar sir, first it was important to ensure that the choreography resonates with his overall vision for the show. Taking that into account, we explored movements that are fluid, organic and convey growth and transformation; a metamorphosis. Since the concept is new and different, we used props that are unconventional in the dance setup, to pique curiosity and show situations in an aesthetic
manner without being literal. Being a Bharatanatyam dancer myself, I believe in the power of the gaze to lead the audience; and the use of abhinaya to convey emotions and scene setting. This is a tool we rely on heavily throughout the production to take the narrative forward.”
The cast of this production is a constellation of talented individuals who bring the story to life. Rudra Soni, a renowned television actor, portrays Ananda, while Diana Volokhova, a dancer from Vrindavan, adds grace to the character of Maya. Sandeep Soparkar, named one of the ‘100 most influential dancers in the world,’ brings the character of Dharma, the priest, to life.
The play’s director, Muzaffar Ali, known for his meticulous attention to detail, has created a mesmerizing musical backdrop, complemented by Kabir Bedi’s compelling narration. As the final act concludes in “Ananda: Eyes of the Healer,” Nelofar Currimbhoy, the creative force behind the play, beautifully sums it up, “In Ananda, I have not created a play; I am working to create an experience—a beautiful experience that will be felt and remembered by the viewer.”
As the floss silk tree blooms and the season of theater begins, “Ananda: Eyes of the Healer” promises to be an unforgettable experience, a symphony of artistry, storytelling, and emotions that will resonate with its audience, leaving an indelible mark on the heart and soul. Don’t miss this chance to witness the magic unfold at Kamani Auditorium on the 26th and 27th of October. It’s an event that promises to be much more than just a performance; it’s an immersive journey into the depths of the human spirit and the power of love.

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