If instead of writing on this page, I could simply splash it with colors, that would be the most accurate description of this dance-musical. You know, sometimes, you just can't believe your good luck? You wonder what you did to deserve such good treatment? I am not exaggerating when I say, this is exactly how I felt within the first 30 mins of watching the show.
Let me rewind a little. The show was held in Bal Gandharv theatre. Usually, this show is performed at the level of Zaanta Raja. Now anyone who has not seen Zaanta Raja, you should know that it is a grand affair which is impossible to fit into 1 tiny theatre. It is usually conducted on a big open air ground with 2 screens and adequate speaker systems. Same is the case with Marathi Baana. So you can imagine how they managed to fit their entire performance on that tiny stage of Bal Gandharv theatre!
The theme of the show is to display the various castes-subcastes in Maharasthrian culture and also to display the various festivals celebrated in Maharashtra. Each caste was shown with the help of song and dance dear to that caste and it was really amazing to see the wide variety of cultures present in Maharashtra. The best part, I believe, was the anticipation of the dances which would receive a "Once More!" They were automatically rewound and repeat performed for the hungry-eyed viewer! When that happened the first time, I couldn't believe my eyes, but sure enough the last 30 seconds of the dance which received a resounding "Once More!" was performed again! Truly a treat for the eyes and ears!
At half time, I was saying to my friends "My God, they should charge like a 1000 bux for that!" I guess the tickets would be costly when it must have been performed in the open air theatre. After interval, it was time to showcase the festivals of Maharashtra. I swear I choked up when they showed the Ganesh Utsav. Their picturisation of a family gathered lovingly around the elephant God made me see my own home! Apart from this there was also a short segment on how marriages used to be in the good old days. The show has 150 participants and at a time there were at least 50 people on stage. The costumes deserve a special mention, as they literally made the show dazzle. And of course, not to forget, excellent use of lights!
The dances were interspersed with songs that described the innocence of youth, romance, koli geet etc. which played their own part in setting the rhythm and pace of the show. The dances were mind boggling because of the beautiful choreography and the awesome synchronization. When one put his hand out, the other would catch it even without looking. That is trust, co-ordination and practice!
For the first time in my life, I seriously regretted not knowing how to whistle. I was clapping and hollering as hard as I could because I wanted them to know, I really wanted them to know, that they had made me so happy! Do not miss this show, if you get a chance, do watch it. It is a heady mixture of live catchy music, awesome choreography and most importantly, a peep into our very pretty Maharashtran culture!