The magic of Meera

REMEMBER THE film "Meera" and the evergreen songs sung by M.S.Subbulakshmi in the film? Now the songs are being set to Bharatanatyam in a one-hour solo performance by Shobhana Balachander, at the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, Mylapore, on April 19.

Shobhana is a disciple of the Dhananjayans (Bharatanatyam) and Kalanidhi Narayanan (abhinaya).

"Meera stands along with Radha and Sukkabai, greatly honoured bhaktas of Lord Krishna and is popularly known as Bhakta Meera. She merged with her Lord through her persistent devotion." Shobhana says, "M.S.Subbulakshmi has propagated bhakthi through her music and brought alive `Meera' in the film."

Meera became famous during her lifetime as the princess who danced for her consort, Krishna, everywhere. No one understood her devotion to Krishna. Her family pleaded with her not to take to the path. The world of royalty, family responsibilities, riches and fame meant nothing to her.

She could not return to live among those who did not see Krishna everywhere.

Her devotion later made her visit places of pilgrimage, chanting the Lord's name and she even took to wearing the saffron attire of a yogini.

Meera was born in 1498, the only daughter of a Rajput chieftain and landlord, Ratan Singh.

"Meera" (1945) produced by Chandraprabha Cinetone and directed by Ellis. R. Dungan is a memorable milestone in Indian movie history.

Even after half a century and more, this film is vividly etched in public memory.

Shobhana says the songs of M.S. in "Meera" have become classics and it would be quite a challenge to depict them in the Bharatanatyam mode. "It is my tribute to the genius of M.S.," she adds.


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