Premiering at the Peacock Theatre, Beyond Bollywood, is a colourful performance, taking the audience on a journey through Indian culture, dance and music, flaunting the vibrancy of Bollywood.
Written, directed and choreographed by Rajeev Goswami, Beyond Bollywood, is a story of a young dancer, Shaily Shergill, who aspires to continue her mother’s legacy in Germany as a traditional Kathak dancer. In search of inspiration and seeking to revive her family’s failing theatre, Shaily ventures out to India to explore Bollywood…and beyond. Upon her journey, Shaily encounters Raghav and Bhallu, who introduce her to the variety of traditional dances across India, including kalbelia, lezim, bihu, garba and kathak.
The performance was exciting and enthralling, it felt just as if I was watching a hit Bollywood movie. Filled with romance, comedy (and lots of music and dance!), this play is an extravagant display of Bollywood. The play also includes an element of fusion, between western and Indian cultures, expressed through the relationship which begins to form between Shaily and Raghav. As choreographers, they merge their ideas together through dance. It also explores the relationship between modern Bollywood dance and traditional folk dances.
Just like any typical Bollywood movie, there must be romance! The story of Shaily and Raghav is charming and exciting, emphasising how dance can bring people together.
A highlight for me, was watching Bhallu, Raghav’s best friend/sidekick, who embodied the typical comedic role which is central to many hit Bollywood movies. The style of humour was refreshing to see and gained many laughs from me!
The show was a visual sensation – I thoroughly enjoyed watching the various dance styles and dazzling costumes, tied together by the colourful backdrops and lighting. I was fully engaged throughout the show and had a great time in the audience! Beyond Bollywood adds a new flair to theatre and creates diversity; it was great to watch something so similar to Bollywood live, rather than on the screen.
I would highly recommend watching Beyond Bollywood to any Bollywood or dance fans. Or even if you just want to enlighten yourself to something new. The show is on until 3 September 2022, so be quick!
Find tickets here: www.sadlerswells.com
Photography courtesy of Beyond Bollywood
Reviewed by Ridha Sheikh – Ridha is a volunteer writer for Abundant Art. She is a graduate in History and Politics from Queen Mary – University of London. Ridha is excited to explore and share her strong passion for London’s art scene.