Direct from Bollywood, Dance St. Louis Presents TAJ EXPRESS: THE BOLLYWOOD MUSICAL REVUE
Dance St. Louis, the Midwest's leading dance presenter, continues its 2016-17 season with the presentation of "Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue" for three performances at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on March 31 - April 1. Direct from Mumbai, starring Bollywood's finest, "Taj Express" explodes with the sounds and movements of the world of Bollywood, capturing its vibrant, expressive spirit.
Through a fusion of film, dance, and music, this dazzling international sensation takes audiences on a live cinematic journey through modern Indian culture and society while showcasing dance forms like Bollywood, Bharatnatyam, Parkour, hip-hop, ballet, Indian folk, Indian classical, and Latin American. The production is a high-energy celebration of Bollywood culture, new India's pop music, and deep traditions, featuring 2,000 colorful costumes, joyful dance, and thrilling live music.
"Taj Express" Director of Choreography Vaibhavi Merchant has choreographed more than 75 Bollywood films in her career, and has received numerous awards, including the prestigious National Award for Choreography, IIFA, and the American Choreography Award.
"TAJ EXPRESS" STORY SYNOPSIS
(*Please note: spoiler alert*)
A young aspiring Indian composer, Shankar, is given his first big break in the film business, to create the music for a brand new Bollywood romance movie, "Taj Express." Music is the key factor in the success of a Bollywood movie, and Shankar dreams of writing a song as successful as A.R. Rahman's Oscar winning smash hit "Jai Ho" in the movie "Slumdog Millionaire." "Jai Ho" means "be victorious," and writing the music for the movie "Taj Express" is Shankar's big opportunity to claim his own victory.
Shankar invites the audience into his studio and his creative world, sharing the secrets of how his Bollywood movie is made. He takes the audience through the script, page by page, making the music for each character and event in the roller-coaster romance. Shankar must write music for passionate dance numbers, thrilling fight scenes, dramatic car crashes and high-energy celebrity parties in the first act. Then he must create the score for the stunning landscape of a train journey, ritualistic dances, festival celebrations and some dramatic revelations in the second act.
Shankar's Bollywood romance is titled "Taj Express," and it is a love story between the heroine of the film, Kareena, a beautiful actress, and Arjun, a handsome hero of the streets. At first it seems that they are both from opposite worlds, but their love for dance brings them together. Arjun rescues young people from the streets and offers them training in classical dance. Kareena longs for freedom from the pressures of being India's heartthrob celebrity as well as a showbiz relationship that her producer is forcing her to adopt for publicity. Deep in her heart she is searching for fulfillment.
The story of Goddess Saraswati is the allegory for her story, the pursuit of knowledge through rejection of material possessions and subsequent escape from the clutches of Lord Brahma. Arjun knows the path she must take to find enlightenment. She must rediscover the essence of dance, poetry and meditation and the meaning of true love. For this discovery, she must leave Bollywood and the world she knows behind.
Traveling on board one of India's iconic steam engines, Arjun and Kareena escape on a thrilling adventure across this colorful, exotic and magical land. The journey takes them from the film studios of Mumbai to the southernmost tip of India, from the temples of Varanasi to the fields of Punjab, ending with a fabulous wedding in the Royal Palaces of Rajasthan.
No Bollywood story is complete without a villain and this story is no different. Shakaal, an underground Mob Boss, has a vendetta against Arjun and a mission to bring Kareena back to Bollywood or destroy them both. In the final dramatic encounter, Shakaal is defeated and Arjun is revealed to be an undercover Prince who marries Kareena in a fabulous, opulent, Indian wedding.
Tickets are $40-$60, and are available at the Dance St. Louis box office at 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive (in Grand Center), St. Louis, MO 63103, or by calling 314-534-6622 or by visiting http://dancestlouis.org.
EVENT & SEASON SPONSORS
Dance St. Louis is grateful for sponsor support to continue its mission to present world-class dance. Wells Fargo Advisors is the presenting sponsor of Taj Express: The Musical Revue. UMSL is Dance St. Louis' supporting season sponsor. Dance St. Louis is also supported by the Arts and Education Council, Missouri Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Regional Arts Commission and the Shubert Foundation.
Dance St. Louis
Dance St. Louis is widely recognized as the leading dance presenter in St. Louis, the Midwest and by the professional dance community. Founded in 1966, Dance St. Louis has been bringing the greatest dance of the world to St. Louis audiences for 51 years. Dance St. Louis is dedicated to the enrichment of the cultural landscape and artistic reputation of St. Louis by presenting great dance companies and educational opportunities that make dance accessible to everyone. Dance St. Louis also conducts a broad range of education programs for the St. Louis community. Each year, the Education Outreach Program introduces thousands of schoolchildren to the magic of dance through in-school workshops and mainstage performances. For more information, please visit http://dancestlouis.org.