Indra Sabha: Blending two diverse cultures
A fine example of Indo-Muslim culture of the 19th Century is the musical production 'Indra Sabha' based on the rich heritage of thumri, dadra, and ghazal.
Conceptualised and choreographed by Dr Uma Sharma, Padma Bhushan awardee and written by Amanat Ali, the show provides a glimpse into the regal splendour of the court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, last King of Oudh.
To be held on November 18, 6:30 pm, at Shankar Lal Hall, Moder School, New Delhi, the event will be graced by eminent personalities including Jaya Prada – Indian film actress, Amjad Ali Khan – Indian music performer, Dr Subhash Goel, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Sonal Mansingh, Kamal Modi, Chairman, Art Karat, Uma Vasudev – Writer, Aruna Vasudev –Writer, Ashok Pratap Singh, Dr Vinay Bharat Ram, Dr Suresh K Goel and others.
A great connoisseur and patron of the arts, the legendary Nawab's knowledge and interest in the Hindu mythology enabled him to entwine the two cultures sensitively and imaginatively, thus creating a mystical 'Indra-Sabha, a fantasy of the royal court in heaven, ruled by the King of Clouds. The Nawab's passion for poetry, music, dance, and drama was so great that he created two famous musicals during his reign and also played the lead characters in them.
In 'Indra –Sabha', the heavenly courtiers are of Gandharvas, Deos, Apsaras, and Hoories. The 'Kaal' a symbolic of 'Time' in the cosmic sense is represented by Deo, displaying the conflict between heaven and earth in a light-hearted and entertaining way.
The musical was originally written by Amanat Ali in 1852 and was performed at Kesar Bagh ka Chauraha, in Lucknow, where the Nawab played the role of Indra.
Dr Uma Sharma has been working with the script of Indra-Sabha given by Mulk Raj Anand and has been busy doing the research on this musical production and has been training all the participating artist based on the rich heritage of Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal for the last one year.
Late Naina Devi, a famous Thumri singer, was also associated with this musical