Putting in a little piece of her heart onto the stage with whom she calls ‘the three most talented artistes’ she knows, Odissi dancer Meghna Das is all set for Anamika 2.0. Collaborating with Preethi Bharadwaj (Bharatnatyam), Pooja Pant (Kathak), Ashiqa Salvan (theatre artiste), the foursome will take on the roles of Radha, Draupadi, Anamika and Devaki. While Devaki, Radha and Draupadi will explore the lives of the mythological women, Anamika (played by Salvan) will draw modern parallels to the stories. “Anamika evolved quite a bit in the months following the premier in February. The structure has changed a little and we’ve made some changes to choreography and implemented new elements. In many ways, it’s an Anamika 2.0,” says Das, adding that they chose to have this upcoming performance crowdfunded so the scale could be upped. “We ran a full house for the premiere and even had to spontaneously add on a second show—that too went full house. So we’re back on a bigger and hopefully better scale,” she tells us.
While she was considering crowdfunding for some time, it was only when she ‘stumbled’ on Ketto did it actually click. “Contrary to what most people think, crowdfunding doesn’t attract generous strangers out of the blue. It takes a lot of talking, writing, emailing and messaging people about the campaign and (at least in our experience) the majority of contributors are friends, family and acquaintances who believe in your project,” shares the danseuse, delighted that the response has been overwhelming. “The overwhelming response makes me want to perform that much better to prove that they didn’t waste their money,” she says, adding, “It’s always a challenge to fund the performing arts, and this experience has proved that it is possible to do it in a sustainable way. For me, that’s a very big deal, in a context where professional dancers find it so difficult to have financially stable careers,” beams the member of the Nrityantar Odissi Dance Ensemble.
The performance will aim to find parallels between old stories told through classical dance forms, and modern day stories, feelings, thoughts and emotions, told through monologues. “It is an attempt at breaking some stereotypical pre-conceptions about classical dance being difficult to understand and relate to through a representation of a modern woman’s search for something to put one’s faith into,” she signs off.