Hema Malini to premiere dance ballet, Ganga on March 19

Hema Malini presents a new dance ballet, Ganga, which is produced, scripted and enacted by her. Photo: Sarbani & Rolland

On March 19, Hema Malini will premiere the dance ballet, Ganga, to celebrate the glory of our motherland at Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav in the 75th year of Indian Independence. The Maharashtra government’s Department of Culture & Directorate of Cultural Affairs has embarked upon a massive plan to clean and revitalize all of the state’s 75 rivers.

The dance musical, which will be presented at Mumbai’s Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on March 19, will capture the river’s descent from the heavens and prod the viewer to join in her fascinating terrestrial journey in the various millennia. It will traverse with glimpses of the various Yugs the river Ganga has witnessed until the holy river is distressed at her neglected and ravaged state in the Kali Yug. But Maa Ganga is a life-giver.  As a true mother, she pleads with us to maintain her purity and sanctity, ignoring all the injustices done to her by the present generation.

River Ganga epitomizes all that is holy and sacred in Hinduism. The heavenly river was brought down to earth by King Bhagirath by a severe penance lasting thousands of years. From its glacier origin at Gomukh to the long stretch on the Indian plains and finally discharging its waters into the Bay of Bengal, Ganga has sanctified every grain of sand and nourished the flora and fauna of the entire hinterland. The banks of the river have inspired great sages and poets to also delve deep into the mysteries of life.

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Says Hema Malini, “I am proud to participate in this noble initiative of the state government of Maharashtra, whose mission is to awaken the youth to form a connect with and to take care of our rivers.  My contribution to the Abhiyaan “Chaliye, Jaanein Nadi Ko..(Come, let’s know our rivers well)” is to present this well-researched and skillfully-choreographed dance presentation on Ganga. I truly hope that this ballet inspires us all to take care of our rivers and revitalize them through concerted human efforts.”

The concept and script is by Hema Malini, who is also the producer.  The music is by the late Ravindra Jain, Ashit Desai and Alaap Desai with choreography by Bhushan Lakandri and costumes by Neeta Lulla. The research is by Ram Govind, with dialogues and lyrics by Shekhar Astitva and Ravindra Jain. The playback singers are Suresh Wadkar, Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam, Shankar Mahadevan, Mika Singh and Rekha Rao. Devdutt Pattanaik is the Consultant.

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