Beyond Bollywood: KOD’s AbhimanyuSmriti Saxena
Kathak juxtaposed on hip hop, grand KOD sets, profound artists, the beat of table and the trinkle of ghungroos– all have been stringed together by Kathak exponent Pandit Sandeep Mahavir at the Nautanki Mahal. After the success of spectacular shows such as Zangoora and Jhumroo, ‘Abhimanyu : the fastest feet’ is a latest addition to the bouquet of entertainment extravaganza by The Great Indian Nautanki Company.
Plot: Set in a small village of Rajasthan, the act is weaved around the lead character Abhimanyu. He is an Indian classical dancer and aspires to take his art to every part of world. The story proceeds as he sails through his ambition of fulfilling commitments such as his father’s dream, village’s problems, etc. The performances depicts Abhimanyu’s dreams, ambitions, struggles, failure and final redemption.
Wow factors: Women with a sweet smile, Rishu Sinha had told me -“This show is different. It’s not Bollywood”. True as she described, here are some moments that have been created to lure audiences:
- The opening narrative has been well-illustrated using sand art.
- Comparative mix of Indian and international dance forms such as the Kathak, Chau, Lavni, Ghoomar to the Hip Hop, contemporary, Krumping and B Boying is nice. The fusion concept of “Hallo Rama”, derived from Halloween + Ramayana is quite unique.
- The music score is completely original and no cover tracks are used. The songs have been sung by Shankar Mahadevan, Daler Mehndi, Udit Narayan, Javed Ali, Anvesha and Dinesh Mahavir.
- The artists are real life experts of their art forms. Actors in the role of Bavri, Bajrangi and the fat lad Hansa have acted really well.
- To top up the firang tadka, the part played by Emma Yearsely is well executed. Her Hindi narrative during Ramayana role is something that would impress the audience.
What could be better: The show is little too long and the lead actor playing Abhimanyu should do some more acting.
Overall, you can watch this show once. Though, my personal favourites are still the Zangoora and Jhumroo. Infact, I also quite liked Behold by Tejas.