Dance of Life

Marathi dance-drama Yere Yere Paisa,to be staged during the inaugural showcase of Pune Festival,weaves elements of various music genres into Maharashtrian sangeet natak

Written by Anjali Jhangiani KP | Published:September 11, 2013 3:38 am

Who doesn’t want to be on the cover of Forbes magazine,or have their name on the list of the world’s most powerful people? Getting to the top is a tough climb and how much are you willing to sacrifice to get there? A new Marathi dance-drama,titled Yere Yere Paisa,traces the life of an ambitious young man as he strives to make it big and get featured on the coveted magazine’s cover page. He is soon faced with a choice between running after money or taking control of his personal life and being there for the people he cares about.

“It is a complex problem we all face today — to run after money or make time for your loved ones. The decision we need to make is what are the more important things in life. While for some,it might be money,fancy cars or a big house,for others,it might just be a meal with the family everyday,” says Ankur Kakatkar,the director of Yere Yere Paisa. He conceptualised the play in June last year and it took him a year to make things fall into place. The first performance of Yere Yere Paisa was held in Mumbai this June. He is now staging the play at Balgandharva today as part of Pune Festival’s inaugural showcase.

Along with play’s writer Sanjay Mone,Kakatkar conjures such scenes on stage that can be related to a young urban professional. The role of the protagonist,named Aditya,is played by Abhijeet Khandkekar,while Tejaswini Pandit plays his wife Raavi’s role. The cast features two more actors — Shekhar Phadke and Sayalee Marathe — who are playing a wide range of characters. There are also eight dancers who will bring the flavour of the traditional Maharashtrian sangeet natak on the stage.

The play starts with the performance of a naandi,a tradition of Maharashtrian sangeet natak,which is a prayer for the basic needs of food,clothing and shelter. As the play takes the audience through a variety of situations,a range of songs carry them through various emotions. “The dialogues are replaced by songs,and sometimes,the dance and the body movements do all the talking. I had my situations ready and worked with the music director on the songs accordingly,” says 30-year-old Kakatkar.

Music composer Nilesh Moharir has arranged 10 songs with different influences including Indian classical,folk,hip hop,Spanish and Latin. “For a scene where the couple goes on a world tour,we have used songs in which there is a Spanish chorus. The song is titled El amor está en el aire,which means ‘love is in the air’,” says Kakatkar.

The elaborate set for Yere Yere Paisa — which has been produced by Mohan Damle — is inspired by a fairytale pop-up book,a concept that has fascinated Kakatkar since childhood. He says he visualised the play like a pop-up book and it also became the perfect way to showcase different locations on stage.

With so much detailing on the set,Kakatkar has kept the costumes casual. “It is a contemporary play that reflects the problems of today’s time. I wanted the costumes to be as casual as possible so that the audience can connect with the characters. They needed to look like real-life characters,” says Kakatkar. However,in parts that are inspired by dream sequences from the Bollywood movies of the ’90s,dancers change into dreamy costumes as they perform elaborate choreography.

The play will be performed at Balgandharva auditorium on September 12,9.30pm onwards

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