Classical beauty

Hema Malini

The Jaya Smriti festival last month had Hema Malini guiding new and young talents to carry forward the legacy of dance

The spectacular smorgasbord of Indian classical dances unfolding in all its glory on the stage in front of you, it made you forget that some of the talents out there were relatively new. They were in perfect sync with the stalwarts of the stage. But then nothing less is expected from an event headed by danseuse and film icon, Hema Malini.

For many years now, Malini has been organising Jaya Smriti, an exquisite classical dance extravaganza, in honour of her mother, late Jaya Chakravarty. In the past, the festival has been known to promote folk dances like Purulia Chhau and Mahiri dance from Odisha. And this year was no different.

Inaugurated on November 16 by yesteryear actress Waheeda Rehman, the first day of the festival played host to the performance of an all-women Indo-fusion band White Lilies. It was followed by a kathak recital by Pooja Pant, while Malini's daughter Ahana Deol and Pavitra Bhat rendered an Odissi-Bharatnatyam presentation. The dance performance slated the next day, November 17 got postponed to December 26, due to the demise of Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.

The festival resumed on December 26 with an Odissi performance by Mitali Varadakar and a fusion violin recital by sisters Ragini and Nandini. This time, Malini took to the stage rendering the pooja dance in the name of Goddess Mahalakshmi. The lineup of stupendous performances reached a crescendo on the final day with Durga, a dance ballet by Malini. She gave the event a fitting finale in the fiery and magnificient avatar of the Goddess.

Jaya Smriti, over the years, has made an outstanding place in the performing art world by providing a platform for young talent to showcase their classical talent. At a time, when westernised and Bollywood threaten to eclipse the traditional forms, Malini's Jaya Smriti ensures that the classical forms are alive and... thriving gloriously!

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