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RMK Arts Foundation Presents Spellbinding Performance of “Heemal Nagirai” at Abhinav Theatre

Mesmerizing Artistry Captivates the Audience through Magnificent Tribute to Kashmiri Folklore Bringing Bal Krishan Sanyasi's Timeless Tale to Life in Stunning Detail

Jammu, March 17, 2024: The RMK Arts & Research Foundation delivered an enchanting rendition of “Heemal Nagirai,” a Musical Dance Drama (Opera) adapted from the renowned Kashmiri Folk tale authored by the esteemed writer Bal Krishan Sanyasi, at the Abhinav Theatre in Jammu.

Drawing from historical references found in the Neelmatpuran and Rajtrangni of Kashmir, this folk tale intricately weaves a narrative of love and betrayal. It revolves around the tale of Heemal, the lonely daughter of King Baldev of Baldevpora Kingdom, who unwittingly falls in love with Nagirai, the Naga King of the serpent kingdom. Nagirai, capable of transforming from serpent to human form, shares a forbidden love with Heemal, unaware of his true identity.

Upon discovering their forbidden affair, King Baldev orders Nagirai to be dismembered and dispersed into the wilderness. Despite Heemal’s desperate pleas for clemency, her father’s decree is executed. In a final act of devotion, Heemal collects Nagirai’s severed pieces and appeals to Lord Mahadev and Mata Parvati for his resurrection.

However, despite her fervent prayers, nature’s laws cannot be reversed. Yet, in a divine intervention, the pieces of Nagirai are reunited through a thunderous strike, and Heemal, refusing to live without her beloved, immolates herself alongside Nagirai, uniting in eternal love in the heavens.

Kuldeep Saproo with Arvind Karwani, the Relief & Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants

Arvind Karwani, the Relief & Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants), graced the occasion as the chief guest, expressing his anticipation and excitement for the classic Opera.

The concept and music were masterfully crafted by Kuldeep Saproo, with direction and design overseen by Vijay Dhar. Choreography was skilfully executed by Nishu Pandita and Pooja Raina, while the set design was brought to life by Virji Virender Sumbly. Raj Kumar Bhat handled the intricate lighting and makeup, accompanied by a talented lineup of playback singers including Dr. Deepali Wattal, the late Ramesh Koul, Pinna Kumari, Shirya Gurtu, Simran Gurtu, and a chorus.

Amar Chouha skilfully anchored the event, with sound engineering by Lokesh, lighting control by Pankaj, and camera operation by Sanjay Puri. The impeccable sound design and recording were executed at the RMK Broadcasting Studio in Jammu.

The stellar cast included Vijay Dhar, Suman Pandita, Pummy Jotshi, Jitender Jotshi, Arvin Tickoo, Vinay Pandita, Daizy Bazaz, Rahul Pandita, and Virji Virinder Sumbly, alongside a troupe of talented dancers comprising Ravika, Shaista Mir, Mikasha, Shikha Pandita, Simiriti Raina, Kushsali, Preeti Malhotra, Preeti Langhe, Shirya Sharma, and Rupali Sharma.

The tale of Heemal and Nagirai is steeped in the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir, with numerous versions circulating throughout the region. These variations often highlight different aspects of love, betrayal, and the supernatural, weaving a tapestry of folklore that has captivated generations.

Among the myriad retellings, the rendition penned by the acclaimed writer Bal Krishan Sanyasi stands out for its lyrical prose and profound emotional depth. Sanyasi’s interpretation breathes life into the characters of Heemal, the lonely princess yearning for companionship, and Nagirai, the enigmatic Naga King whose love knows no bounds.

RMK Arts & Research Foundation’s performance of “Heemal Nagirai” at the Abhinav Theatre in Jammu resonated deeply with audiences, as it beautifully captured the essence of Sanyasi’s timeless opera. Through meticulous choreography, soul-stirring music, and evocative storytelling, RMK succeeded in bringing to life the intricacies of this beloved folk tale.

The foundation’s ability to do justice to such an incredible opera is a testament to their dedication to preserving and celebrating Kashmiri culture. By honouring Sanyasi’s vision and breathing new life into Heemal and Nagirai’s story, RMK has ensured that this timeless tale continues to enchant audiences for generations to come.

Bal Krishan Sanyasi






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