This particular “Maharaas” is unique in the way it combines the traditional Raas of Brindaban with classical Kathak, a field in which Uma Sharma has done considerable research.
The ballet is based on the 10th chapter of the Shreemad Bhagavat. According to the text, it was on a full moon night that Lord Krishna decided to dance the Raas, with his ‘gopis’. He decorated himself with fragrant flowers and played his flute. On hearing the notes from his flute, the Gopis were enchanted, and left rushed to be with their loved Krishna. The lord reprimanded them for leaving their homes and husbands and rushing to him at the dead of night into forest. On hearing this, the gopis were disappointed and annoyed. Giving in to their pleasure Krishna surrounded by many gopis, started dancing.
This show of affection and lavish attention by the supreme Lord himself soon made them proud. Krishna sensing this, decided to teach them a lesson as he along with Radha disappeared. When the gopis realised that ihs absence they went mad with the agony of separation. They started looking for him everywhere to diminish their sorrow, they started enacting scenes from Krishna’s life. Realising that the gopies had learnt a lesson, Krishna decided to reappear before them. To satisfy and pacify the gopies he started the Maharaas dance which is a spiritual experience. With his supreme powers he multiplied his form so that each gopi felt that Krishna was at her side and dancing with her alone.
The Maharaas, conceived by Uma Sharma as a dance form is a unique blend which pinpoints her creative originality as a choreographer and also shows her concern for placing Kathak in it’s true perspective as a dance for the gods, to the gods, in the home of the gods – in the temples.