Bringing the Ganges river and the issues surrounding it today onstage is the next big dream of veteran Bollywood actor and internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer Hema Malini.
"The next ballet I want to do is on our great river Ganges," Hema Malini told IANS in an interview here.
"I have already made the script. I want to bring the Ganges on to the stage," she said.
Hema Malini was here, along with her daughters Esha and Ahana Deol, at the invitation of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Dubai, for a classical dance recital to mark India's 62nd Independence Day.
She explained that her new ballet on the Ganges would carry an environmental message.
"It is a beautiful concept, you know. It starts with the mythological beginning (of the Ganges). But it goes into today's time and issues associated with the river. An environmental message will be given," she said.
Talking about her other works, Hema Malini was very enthusiastic about another ballet she has developed, called Draupadi.
"I have 12 actors playing the roles of the Kauravas and Pandavas. I play the role of Draupadi. Our great epic Mahabharata is then told from Draupadi's point of view," she said.
The classical dancer also has big plans for a dance institute, Natyavihar Kalakendra, which she was planning to set up but lamented the fact that she was yet to get land for it.
When pointed out that there were reports in the media that authorities in Maharashtra have approved a plot of land measuring 2,000 sq mts at Jogeshwari in Mumbai for her institute, she was pleasantly surprised.
"Really? I didn't know that. That's real good news you have given me," she smiled.
So, what does she have in her mind for Natyavihar Kalakendra?
"I want to establish a beautiful institute where I will have a beautiful, lovely theatre. Young students can come, learn, perform and know these arts very well," Hema Malini said.
She stressed that the institute will concentrate more on developing the ballet form.
"There are so many institutes where they teach Bharatanatyam, Odissi. All the classical dance institutes are there. But in mine I will concentrate more on the ballet form," she said.
She said that she wanted youngsters to learn the ballet form, which involved combination of the various Indian classical dance forms.
"Ballet needs all forms of dance. You cannot show different emotions through one particular style... You won't be able to express. In ballet what happens is that we combine all of them," she explained.
"From the script writing, then creating the whole story, bringing it on to the stage with beautiful lightings, settings and costumes - these are the kind of things I want to teach," she added.
She said that if her planned institute became a reality then she would open its doors to everybody.
"Any number of students who want to join are welcome," she said.
The Bollywood veteran added that the institute would not be confined to dance training alone.
"I want even the technicians to learn in the institute. One has to learn lighting techniques and other stagecraft. The total art form you will learn there," she said.
"Let's keep our fingers crossed. If I really get that piece of land you mentioned, I will let you know," Hema Malini said.