'Ladies Sangeet' examines female identity, says director-writer

 Director-writer Purva Naresh says his latest musical drama, Ladies Sangeet, deals with how female identity is filtered through the male gaze.

Naresh's teleplay stars Joy Sengupta and Loveleen Mishra along with Nidhi Singh, Siddhant Karnick, Harsh Khurana, Sarika Singh, and Monica Gupta.

"The play tries to develop a discourse on what is feminine identity and how it is being manipulated through classical texts, through patriarchy, through cultural appropriation and the market. Female identity filtered through the male gaze, is the core of the play," Naresh said.

"A wedding seemed a perfect setting for this because the bride is the epitome of the feminine and the groom of the masculine. It is a wedding and the bride is getting freaked out. Not just the bride but the groom too is getting freaked out. And then it seems, everyone has a disquiet. As the household prepares for a boisterous sangeet, the disquiet seems to be spreading and growing. And through classical songs, folk songs, Bollywood music we begin to see glimpses of how conditioning works. How prevalent is the male gaze that even women embrace it gladly," he added.

He added: "I play the complex character of a slightly harrowed father whose truth is revealed only in the second half when the audience learns why he has a problematic relationship with his wife.

"The tension then builds up to a very cathartic scene where all of his insecurities and secrets tumble out. It is then that viewers gauge the extent of his misery within the institution of marriage and start questioning the gender roles in marital relationships and society," he added.

The Zee Theatre teleplay will premiere on Airtel Spotlight on January 31.

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