Raghu Dixit’s royal date will see the folk rock musician perform with all the queen’s horses, literally. The grand performance that celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be held at the grounds of Windsor Castle on Sunday, and will also feature Raghu’s wife, and choreographer Mayuri Upadhya and her 12-member dance troupe Nritarutya.
Backing him on his hit track ‘Mysore se aayi…’ is a 70-piece orchestra and 550 horses! “The folks at ITV (broadcaster) wanted to make each performance a spectacle. The idea of using dancers, orchestra and horses is a result of this. It’s a first for me, so I am excited to see how it turns out,” says Raghu.
Ask Mayuri how they plan to match their steps to 550 horses and she says, “Luckily, they won’t be on stage. The entire showcase is planned on multiple levels. I’m yet to see them to understand this better, but from what I understand, when they come together, they’ll exude every bit of royalty and promise the audience a visual extravaganza.”
While the artiste will be seen sporting his signature lungi (one of which he plans to gift the queen), the other props onstage mimic him. The dancers will hold puppets wearing regional costumes from Raghu’s hometown, Mysore. “Their look is inspired from both Rajasthan and Karnataka’s Channapatna Gombe puppets,” says Mayuri. City designer James Ferreira has created outfits for the dance troupe — cholis for the girls with Kutch embroidery and dhoti-inspired pants for men.
The show, however, will feature the lungi-clad musician alone, without his quartet. “We have a quick set-up there and there’s just not enough time to set up the whole band,” he says. Raghu, whose infectious energy has made fans across the world spout Kannada and jump up in joy, plans to carry on his vigour this time around. “I’m hoping that The Queen will also get up and dance to ‘Mysore...’, I’m going to try to get her to,” he adds.