Music for the Eyes
The mere mention of Bollywood is associated with glitz and glamour, extravagant set designs, dance numbers, music and of course, a burst of colours. That is precisely what one can expect from the musical, Beyond Bollywood, which will be staged on November 3 at the Ministry of Education auditorium in Wattayah.
Produced by Rajeev Goswami with music by Salim Suleiman and lyrics by Irfan Siddiqui, Beyond Bollywood uses the medium of jazz, classical, folk and Bollywood dance forms, music as well as acting. The troupe is here to perform at the Indian Social Club’s Charity WIng’s annual fundraiser for blue collar workers in the sultanate.
“It’s very colourful, very energetic and beautifully executed. India has been showcased in all its vibrant colours in this production,” says Padmini Atal, convenor of the Indian Social Club’s Charity Wing.
The club organises fundraiser events every year to promote their work. “This year too, we were looking for a show that we could bring to Oman, and that is when we came across Beyond Bollywood,” says Padmini. “The theme in Beyond Bollywood – that spells hope for a victim of diaspora - resonates with the social work that we do for the blue-collar workers in Oman and we are glad to host this event here.”
Director Rajeev Goswami who has taken his spectacular show from Mumbai to London’s West End theatres to across Europe, is excited to visit Oman.
In an interview, Goswami introduces us to the musical extravaganza:
1. Beyond Bollywood seems like a very interesting concept - a new genre. Can you tell us a little about it ?
Beyond Bollywood is the story of a young Indian girl born and brought up in Munich. It’s about her journey to India in search of her roots and culture through Indian dance and music.
I did not have a particular genre in mind when I conceptualised the show. My passion and love for Indian performing arts coupled with storytelling led to this genre.
2. How did you come into ‘show biz’?
I followed my heart. I started as a dancer and here I am today.
3. How many years has this show been running?
Over two years.
4. Which has been your favourite place in terms of appreciation from the audience?
We have performed at the London Palladium West End theatres, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Algeria and in New Delhi. I can’t really pick any particular favourite place because the show was loved by audiences everywhere we have performed till date.
5. Tell us some of the interesting reactions to the show on your tours abroad.
There are so many – I wish I could list them all - but I can mention one incident at the London Palladium when our female lead actor, who plays the role of Shaily, was approached by a British lady for a picture after the show. She told us that Shaily reminded her of her daughter who had passed away. She said she loved Indian culture and that she was mesmerised by the performances. This really touched my heart.
6. Which contemporary artistes do you admire?
I quite admire Gabrille Roth for her theory of 5Rhythms and Pandit Birju Maharaj, the renowned Kathak dancer...again, there are just so many that it is impossible to pick a few.
7. What do you hope to achieve through your show?
I hope to spread the message of having the courage to follow your heart and turn your dreams into reality.
8. What can the audience in Muscat look forward to in the show? Which are the most popular songs?
Entertainment!!!! The audience in Muscat will agree on this once they watch the show. Most of the songs are original compositions by the extremely talented music directors Salim Merchant and Sulaimaan Merchant.
Namaste India and Thallaiva will surely get a decent round of cheering, I guess.
9. If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Violence – and replace it with harmony.
10. What are you most looking forward to in Muscat?
I’m looking forward to feeling the spirit of the audience in Muscat while they watch the show.
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