'Veer Meera', a musical on women empowerment to be held in Delhi

The songs are sung by Vidushi Sumitra Guha (R) and enacted through a dance recital by Kathak exponentby Shinjini Kulkarni (L). Photo: Special arrangement

Sumadhur Hansadhwani Trust, a non-profit organisation promoting Indian music and art form is organising a musical evening titled 'Veer Meera'. The show is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and aims to spread the message of women awakening and liberation by showcasing the ideology of the 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Meera Bai.

The event will be held at Kamani auditorium in Delhi on July 26. Conceptualised and composed by Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Vidushi Sumitra Guha and her senior disciple Samia Mahbub Ahmad, the show is a production that brings together an amalgamation of songs celebrating Meera Bai and her bhajans. The program is scripted in a way that it narrates her story while honouring the women achievers. The songs are sung by Vidushi Sumitra Guha and enacted through a dance recital by Kathak exponent (Birju Maharaj's granddaughter) Shinjini Kulkarni. The show premiered in Chandigarh on July 15, 2023 at the Tagore Theatre.

“Meera Bai was the first feminist and a visionary who voiced against the wrongdoings of the society,” shares Vidushi Sumitra Guha. “Despite being from the royal family, she questioned the norms of animal slaughter as an offering for gods. She stood up to all established norms of honour, and to the authority of every mortal man around her. Through our musical we are showcasing her commitment, devotion, and bravery and signifying its importance for women of today’s generation.”

The show will feature a collection of songs that celebrates women power and achievements by narrating the story of true feminist – Meera Bai. Vidushi Sumitra Guha explains, “The performance will be a soulful and inspiring blend of music, bhakti and inspirational songs, dance and celebration of women achievers. The musical evening will have songs talking about Meera Bai and how stood against caste, creed, gender, inequality. The evening will also feature some bhajans written by Meera Bai. We are putting together a spectacle that celebrates women empowerment by celebrating a true visionary.”

Kathak dancer Shinjini Kulkarni explains how it's an amalgamation of music and dance in a never seen before format. “This event is designed in a way that people will not only enjoy the classical music and dance but also the set, costume, and lights. It promises to be a holistic spectacle to its viewers. The script is written in such a way that it highlights how Meera Bai was decades ahead of her time and provides lessons for all of us. It also honours and celebrates the courageous women of today and time and attempts to tell their tales.” The script of the show is written by Pandit Vijay Shankar Mishra.

The project was first presented on stage in 2019, then on Doordarshan in March 2021, and again in March 2022 at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre which was well received.

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