Ganganama-story of Ganga in Kathak ballet, presented by Filmmaker Muzzaffar Ali at 6th Wajid Ali Shah festival in Lucknow.

6th Wajid Ali Shah festival held at Dilkusha Garden, Lucknow held under the aegis of Rumi Foundation, showcased a kathak belle dance, Ganganama, Circle of Life, directed by noted Film Director, poet, Muzzaffar Ali and Chereographed by Sanjukta Sinha group and performed by Kadamb Group . It depicted various faces of Holy Ganga river, which originally came out of the Jatas of Lord Shiva. It imparted knowledge, motherhood and other various forms to mankind. Mesmerising performance by Sanjukta Singh group included Roopanshi, Maithali, Mihika, Kritika, Vidhi, Mansi, Rohit, Mohit and Pankaj, gave a superb display of controlled kathak dance performance.  The stage against the backdrop of historical Dilkusha Palace, was lighted with hundreds of Diya’s and colourful lights and music.
The  6th Wajid Ali Shah festival was inaugurated  by Chief Justice of Allahbad HC and Chief Secretary, UP Government Dr. Anoop Chander Pandey. The Kathak belle dance, as Wajid Ali Shah himself was a great dancer and poet himself was followed by a solo performance by film actor Murad Ali. Dressed in traditional Lucknowwi Black sherwani and loose Pyjama, Murad Ali mesmerised the packed audience with his impeccable diction of Urdu. He narrated Poetry of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and how he was banished from Lucknow to Calcutta, Matia Burj where he spent his last days. Murad Ali also expressed how the writings of Majaz, Amir Khusro and Kauai Azumi affected and influenced Muzzaffar Ali’s own life and writings.
Till date  Padam shri Muzzaffar Ali himself a great writer, painter and poet keeps on promoting the art of Kathak belle dance, thru his display of dance shows,  over the years. The last presentation of the evening was the mesmerising singing of Pooja Gaikonde. She displayed great control over the classical school of singing coupled with her violet voice. Starting with reverence first Hazrat Ali “Munkunto maula” she then praised in honour of Ganga maiya. “Me Ganga huu, tumhari Shaahdmani”. Pooja then sang Amir Khusro “chaap tilak sub chiini” mo se naina milake”. which held the full packed audience spellbound and clapping. It looked like  a trilling evening filled with musical and sufi extravaganza.
The core committee of Rumi foundation was also present at the occasion. Special mention was made of Dr. Karan Singh for his contribution towards formation of Rumi Foundation,  Lucknow. Meera Ali noted designer of Kotwara Collection was applauded for her guidance in staging this Festival. Awnish Awasthi, Principal Secretary, UP Government was also present on the occasion.
by Afzal Ali Shah Maududi. Editor Bureau chief.
Photo by Ajaish Jaishwal.