East competes West in DDs new dance reality show

NEW DELHI: Earlier this week, Doordarshan telecast an innovative reality show, Bharat Ki Shaan – Rum Jhum that saw classical Indian dance forms compete with Western dances.

The programme commenced on DD National on 14 October and will be aired every Monday and Tuesday at 10.00 pm

Conceptualised and created by the pioneer of reality shows in India, Gajendra Singh, the show has a unique concept and is being developed by the living legend of Indian classical dance Dr Sonal Mansingh.

On the occasion, Doordarshan ADG (Publicity) V.K. Jain said: “We are very happy to produce, Bharat ki Shaan – Rum Jhum. With this show, we want to expand Bharat ki Shaan in the form of dance. The concept of doing Indian classical vs. non-Indian dance was conceptualised by DD Director General Tripurari Sharan. It was his idea to get the traditional and contemporary Indian dance vs. other forms of dance to bring out the cultural values from different parts of the world.”

At present, Bharat ki Shaan is confined to singing.

Mansingh will be seen for the first time on Indian television as the “Guru Shrestha”, the supreme judge. She has been honoured with Padma Bhusan and Padma Vibhusan, and is renowned world over for her expertise in Odissi and Bharatnatyam and her interpretations of the classical in modern terms. Rum Jhum is an extension of Dr Mansingh’s vision. “It is a strategy for me to bridge the gap between the popular and pure arts. I hope the show doesn’t only let the country discover new talents, but also discover dance in its diversity, richness and beauty,” she said.

Saaibaba Telefilms CMD Gajendra Singh, who has been known as the creator of musical reality shows in India with shows like Antakshari, SaReGaMa, Voice of India, Music Ka Maha Muqqabla and the recent hit Sur Kshetra, will foray in to the world of dance with Rum Jhum. “I am looking forward to the show as much as my viewers who likewise are ardently waiting for its launch”,  Singh said.

Besides Dr. Sonal Mansingh, the show has two other expert judges - Sandeep Soparkar, who is an expert in Ballroom dance; and Sandeep Mahavir, a Kathak dancer and expert - to groom and train and get the best from the contestants.

Talking at the occasion, Sandip Soparrkar, said: “There is no other platform which gives prominence to non-Indian dance forms in particular. I am extremely thrilled to be a part of this show. I am glad that Gajendra Singh came up with this offer. It is a wonderful opportunity. My best wishes are with all the contestants and our entire team. I am sure we will make a great show.”

Sandeep Mahavir, who is representing the Indian dance forms is a young Kathak dancer-choreographer who is popularising the Jaipur Gharana of Kathak the world over. “Rumjhum is a big platform for me. Youngsters who want to make a career in this field can go places because of this platform. It is not a competition but a representation of two art forms. I am excited to see the audiences’ reaction. I just hope that the upcoming talents and the contestants don’t have to struggle the way we have,” he said.

While the two dynamic dance gurus look forward to add a dimension to the show, the fascinating blend of classical, regional folk and western music combined with Bollywood, will keep the entertainment quotient always on a high.

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