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Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj is known for being extremely meticulous with the costumes he wears during his performances. From the beige kurta and orange stole that he donned at a recent performance at MIT in Boston, to the turquoise and royal blue costume at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, he is known to go into great details with regard to his attire. Now, for an upcoming "performance", he has agreed to wear a creation by artist, curator and author Alka Raghuvanshi — comprising a red stole over a kurta-churidaar with the print of a painting from Raghuvanshi's "Silence of Solitude" series — and walk the ramp on November 22 for her show, Ehsaas. "I'm not nervous since the stage is like a second home. But walking the ramp is a new experience. Hum model toh nahi hain (I am not a model), but I am sure it will be fun," said Maharaj.
Raghuvanshi says that all arts have a shared heritage and it is this multi-disciplinary approach — including art, fashion and design — that needs to be addressed. "Also, the performing artistes have kept traditions alive, especially that of wearing a sari. The grace with which they carry the sari is beautiful. There is a certain rhythm to the whole thing. You can't just drape a sari on a model and be sure that there will be elegance on the ramp," says Raghuvanshi, who has included paintings by artists such as Niren Sengupta, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Shridhar Iyer and Manisha Gawade, apart from her own.
Vocalist Meeta Pandit, also walking the ramp for the first time, will wear a pink sari with abstract work on it. "It will be interesting. I have never walked the ramp but I am excited," she said. Other artistes to be spotted at the show include Bharatanatyam and Odissi exponent Sonal Mansingh, sitar player Shubhendra Rao , vocalist Madup Mudgal and Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer Swapna Sundari.
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