The walls of Windsor Castle in England are echoing with the strains of rustic Indian folk these days. Contemporary Indian folk musician,Raghu Dixit,along with a troupe of 12 dancers from Bangalore,called Nritarutya,is busy putting the act together for the Queens Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The four-day event concludes on May 15.
While Dixit sings Mysore se ayi woh a folk track with a western groove that merges various sounds and is genre-spanning the members of Nritarutya exude a streak of naughtiness,some raw street energy and a hint of Indian folk exuberance with puppets as their headgear.
Dancer and choreographer of Nritarutya,Mayuri Upadhayaya,who was roped in for the project,has specifically chosen Karnatakas Channapatna Gombe puppets and Rajasthani puppets to be a part of the entire choreography. In India,we often use puppets to tell stories,and I felt that the story of this beautiful girl from Mysore,in the song Mysore se ayi woh,could be told so well through them. The puppets add a flirtatious feeling, says Upadhyaya. She believes the puppets also add an element of grandness to the final section of the dance,as the stage is massive and there are only 12 dancers.
Interestingly,these puppets will wear the native regional costumes of Dixitss hometown Mysore,which have been designed by designer James Ferriera.
Raghu and his music are central to this piece,so everything is woven around him. The dance and music have to balance and complement each other to lift the performance, says Upadhyaya.