Paeans of love, the Shakespearean way

Paeans of love, the Shakespearean way

New Delhi: Under a star spangled night, eight young protagonists enacted a modern rendition of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mounted as a musical, the hour-long extravaganza was peppered with a witty introduction by Veejay Cyrus Broacha while the curtain was brought down dramatically by actress Dia Mirza, brand ambassador for Ponds beauty care products, in the capital on the evening of 5July.

And therein lies the context of the presentation. A product launch, which introduced to the audience the new range of age defying potions encased in the ‘White Beauty Detox Range", the event was wrapped delicately in layers of mystique that unfolded mysteriously as cupid struck its arrow and love was manifested in its many splendoured glory.

A Shakespearean sonata, the classic romantic comedy written by the Bard in the 1590’s came alive as the fate of eight Athenian lovers got comically intertwined thanks to the magical effects of a jungle flower on characters who have been immortalized in zillions of theatrical adaptations. Oberon, Titania, Lysander, Hermia, Helena, Demetrius grip you with their sheer energy and radiance.

The sparse dialogue wonderously interwoven with foot tapping numbers like “I can’t help falling in love with you", “Dreams are made of these", Elvis Presley’s “Devil in disguise", “I must surrender" and “Be my good luck charm" keep you engaged and yes, at the end of it, reinforce your romantic notions of love too.

With the tag line of “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind and therefore is winged cupid, painted blind", Shakespeare’s poetry finds a resonance in beauty products that promise to retain youthful beauty and glow that comes both with being in love and in nurturing the skin – a modern day mantra that builds a case for cosmetic companies, albeit poetically!

The dance theatre spectacle presented a brand new version highlighting the principal beauty of friendship, love and romance. Running through the woods and eloping with the beloved to find eternal joy and bliss, however illogical, had an idyllic feel to it. With a high impact pop art appeal, the backdrop was painstakingly done to create a deep wooded effect.

However, what took the cake was the dance ensemble which had some very nimble and fluid moments and part of the dialogue which was contemporary even as it attempted to stay in rhyme, being somewhat faithful to what must be the Bard’s original lyrics. Lines like “When I have a limousine why should I go in a taxi" referring to being with the more beautiful woman versus the one perceived to be a tad less gorgeous or the line “I will forever be the butter on your toast" though corny managed to fit in as they conveyed the mood of the moment.

Call it wicked, call it unfair, call it biased, but love has traditionally been bound by the ethereal and forever young and innocent images of beauty and in the present modern day setting, women are indeed bending backwards to hold onto what they wish was “ageless". Ponds has always through its campaigns focused on the freshness of their brand ambassadors, be it through models who act in their commercials or actresses who endorse their products. Attempting to romance the waif-like Dia Mirza on the evening of the launch, Cyrus, who is never at a loss for words, echoed the sentiment when he surmised, “You look the reason why men must write poetry".

Ashok Venkatramani, VP, Skincare, HUL informed the audience, “The need to look beautiful and feel loved was true in the Shakespearean era and is only more reinforced today. Ponds understands this and has therefore come up with a range that has Age Miracle, Double White, Botanicals and White Beauty, which are the next generation’s skin care choices."