By Padam D Shamia
The premiere show of Anila Sunder’s dance-drama “SINDHU DHARA” was presented on May 28, 2005 at the Nehru Centre Worli, Mumbai.
The extravaganza opened with a commentary on Sindhu, Sindhyat and the contribution of Anila to the performing arts.
The audience is a witness to the remnants of Mohen-Jo-Daro i.e. mound of the dead depicted on celluloid “The Kal Chakra” tells the story of the ancient Sindhi Civilization along with specially selected visuals to present a life-like picture of the flourishing Indus culture and civilization. The dancing girl of Mohen-Jo-Daro represents the cultural bias and boundless grandeur of the bygone era and Anila’s talents touch the peak of artistic aptitude as her steps synchronize with the beating of drums, drawing thundering applause from the audience.
Thereafter on screen the River Sindhu is shown flowing in its majestic form and serene beauty Then the invasion by Alexander with galloping chargers appearing on the screen, and the episode of Raja Dahirsen, the last Brahman Hindu King of Sindh. The role of his two daughters is presented in great details.
Sindhu Dhara presents a slice of history. In two and half hour Shah, Sachal, Sami, Kanwar Ram, the trauma of partition and glimpses of life in rehabilitation camps are shown. Sindhis are shown “sharnarthis turning into parmarthis”. Mohan Gehani the writer and Sunder Agnani, who convened this extravaganza have taken great pains to present the historical events in a correct and unbiased perspective.
Anila, the scintillating authoress presents her vivacious acts in period-costumes. Dancing her way to royal scenes, she uses specially crafted period-jewellery with slew of shinning outfits. Great and minute attention has been paid to the fabrication of costumes. Music by Ghanshyam Vaswani and his troupe worked wonders with his phenomenal tunes.
Anila winged her way into ballet about two and half decades ago. She started with “Sik Sajan Je”, followed by “Sindhyat Jee Surhan” and “Theeu Na Juda Jani Mukhan”. Then she changed the trend and presented ballet based on the immortal works of Jai Dev, twelfth century writer of Geet Govind. It is lyrical erotic work of mystical interpretations of Lord Krishna’s love for Radha. This catapulted Anila’s fame beyond the Sindhi periphery.
For her dancing is not just hobby but a life long obsession. For her dancing is not mere performing art, but a way of life. She has lived and immersed herself in the art of dancing.
At present she is the only prominent Sindhi danseuse, having travelled to far-flung places like London, West Africa, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Philippines, Manila and other places She had the honour of performing before the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Dy P. M. Shri Lal Krishna Advani at Sindhu Darshan in Ladakh in year 2000. She is assiduously nurturing new talents and her daughter Rachna is being groomed for the morrow.