New Delhi, Dec 5 IANS | 12 months ago

Kathak maestro Shovana Narayan's dance performances in the capital showcase two women characters from the 17th and 19th centuries who were independent and empowered but faced loneliness and had many unfulfilled desires.


In the "Tryst with the Past" ballet festival Dec 11-12, the Padma Shri recipient will perform as Jehan Ara, eldest daughter of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal in "Jehan Ara: The enigmatic Mughal Princess".

She will also perform as Kadambari Devi, sister-in-law, confidant and critic of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in "Kadambari: The Poet's Muse".

"Jehan Ara was the favourite daughter of her parents. She was also the most intelligent and able of all the siblings. Her great grandfather (Akbar) decreed that women in their families won't marry. So, despite all her beauty and power she had this unfulfillment and loss of love," Narayan told IANS.

"Kadambari was Tagore's inspiration and muse. Their relationship was very mysterious. She was a poetess but was a lonely soul," she added.

Narayan feels both of them are indicative of contemporary women and their unfulfilled desires bind them together.

"Women are empowered and they are independent, yet at times they draw certain boundaries because of the society and make adjustments at the cost of their own happiness," she said.

The one-and-a-half hour performances will take place Dec 11 and 12 at the Kamani Auditorium.

(Posted on 05-12-2013)