After a gap of 20 years, the state government won the first prize for its tableau at the Republic Day parade on Monday, in which it depicted the annual ‘wari’ to Pandharpur in front of an enthralled audience, including US President Barrack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A total of 25 tableaux had participated in the Republic Day Parade.
The tableau, which had murals of 250 warkaris, was 40-ft-long, 14-ft-wide and up to 16 ft in height, as per the specifications of the Union Defence Ministry. The Maharashtra government had engaged art director Shekhar More and choreographer Santosh Bhangre to portray the annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur in the tableau.
Sanjay Patil, director, archaeology, who had worked on the tableau, said, “We had worked on this since June. We interviewed over 10 choreographers and selected Santosh Bhangre’s team as most of the dancers were from rural areas and we were impressed with the energy they were putting in. As many as 25 of the 31 dancers were from the interior parts of Maharashtra.”
Patil added that the last time Maharashtra had won the first position for its tableau at the Republic Day parade was in 1995. The tableau was put to tune on Marathi singer Ajay Gogavale’s ‘Mauli Mauli,’ a song from Marathi film Lai Bhari, starring Riteish Deshmukh.