BWW Feature: TAJ EXPRESS-THE MUSICAL at The Smith Center
Taj Express-The Musical captures the essence of Bollywood, India's prolific film industry, and is brought to life on stage with dance and music. It also tells the universal story of one man's genius and one man's passion and how the two collide. Taj Express-The Musical will return for one performance at The Smith Center on Oct. 8.
Two years ago, Taj Express dazzled Las Vegas audiences with a stunning ensemble performance. The musical revue will captivate audiences again through rhythmically blended dance numbers accompanied by music from India's most iconic composers, including Academy award-winner A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire). The backdrop of the world's most prolific film industry adds to the story of the people behind as well as on the screen who make the magic in India's factory of dreams.
Shankar, a young composer, is writing the score for his first Bollywood movie. The audience enters into his music studio and witnesses his struggles with his music. He is always on deadline, and producers just want the job done without much thought about the score. Shanker soon discovers his path to success when he starts to follow in the footsteps of his idol, A.R. Rahman. The story within the show is the script of a love story between Kareena, a beautiful actress, and Arjun, the handsome hero of the streets. While it appears that they are from opposite worlds, their love for dance brings them together. Arjun offers young people from the streets a chance to take training in classical dance. Kareena longs for freedom and needs to rediscover the essence of dance, poetry, meditation, and the meaning of true love. Arjun understands the path she must take to find enlightenment.
"People can relate to the passion and faith of Shakar," explains Ninad Samaddar, who portrays Shankar. "He uses his voice, expertise, and experience to expand his music, and that is what everyone does with their craft, whether it is music, dancing, acting, or anything creative." The character Shakar overcomes poverty with his music, which influences the score he is writing. "Shakar sees music everywhere, he hears the rhythm, and that becomes his composition. He wants to deliver perfection."
"Music, dance, and color are so important to Bollywood," says Rajitdev, the principal dancer who portrays Arjun and one of the choreographers of the show. "We present a very intricate festival number. We have many dance forms in India from different regions, and we express many of them. Dance brings energy to the show and goes out into the audience. Many times, they get up and dance with us."
Taj Express will present one performance in the Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center on Oct. 8. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available at The Smith Center Box Office, by calling 702-749-2000, or online at www.thesmithcenter.com.