Marathi actors perform at Rashtrapati Bhavan for a cause

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (UNI) Song and dance performances are generally more impacting than hour-long speeches. More so when they carry a social message.

Such was the idea behind 'Marathi Taraka', a ballet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday, where the 'tarakas' or actresses of the Marathi film industry came together to perform and promote the theme of 'save and nurture girl child', a cause espoused by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

Conceptualised by Marathi director, playwright and lyricist Mahesh Tilekar, this first-of-its-kind show travelled from beaches of Goa and Mumbai to the deserts of Rajasthan depicting the culture and dance forms of the Kolis inhabiting the western coast of Maharashtra and Lavni and that of the tribes of the deserts.

Famous Marathi and Hindi film actor Varsha Usgaonkar gave a solo performance on hit number ''Paan khai saaiyan..'', while Kishori Godbole reminded the audience of the smart moves of Sridevi on the evergreen ''Morni Bagan maan Bole'' from the film 'Lamhe'.

The performances also captured the essence of the love with how a teenaged girl, living beside the beach, is teased by the Koli boys of her colony and how a newly married woman pleads her husband to take her out for honeymoon.

Transgressing the boundaries of the 21st century, the actors also paid tribute to Marathi actors of the 70s, 80s and 90s like Smita Patil and Madhuri Dixit who made a mark in Bollywood, with performances on the hit songs of these beauties of the yesteryears.

Another acclaimed Marathi star and classical dancer with a filmfare and Screen award for the film 'Bidhast' to her credit, Sharvani added dash to the show with her classical performance.

Voicing the excitement of all her co-performers, she said, ''I think we all are lucky to be the first to have performed at the President House in front of Ms Pratibha Patil. It was so much fun and a moment of pride.'' The show concluded with a joint performance by all the artists that highlighted the 'grave sin' that female foeticide is and stressed equal opportunity of education and vocation for the girl child.

Mahesh Tilekar said he opted for this theme because nobody listened to the long lectures and mere talking about saving the girl child. ''However, song and dance are such mediums through which one can promote a cause with more impact on a larger section of society,'' he said.

''Moreover this is the cause which Pratibha Tai herself has been stressing on,'' he added.

Later, all the artists were facilitated by the President.

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