Rajniesh Duggall was extremely excited for a dream project that landed in his lap last year, a live musical, Bajirao Mastani. Interestingly, Bollywood buffs have already seen and loved Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s theatrical version of the period romance that starred Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra in lead roles. So when Rajniesh got an opportunity to play Bajirao in a live act, he couldn’t resist. While work was in progress, lockdown happened and things came to a standstill.
“I was eagerly looking forward to the project. Last month, I even met the 60 dancers who are a part of this performance. They really worked hard from December end till mid-March, as mid-April we were going to present our first show in Delhi. They were rehearsing non-stop. In fact, I was in Delhi in Feb, for my rehearsals too,” says Rajniesh, who was prepping up under Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj. He elaborates, “I learnt the Chhau dance. I learnt Kathak steps. There are some 9 acts of songs and total 27 acts.”
With uncertainty looming over opening of theatres, Rajniesh says that the team is exploring the thought of moving it to the digital medium. “The team has been mulling over the thought of recording the play and releasing it online, or doing live video shows. Let’s see what comes out of the discussions,” he signs off.