REDONDO BEACH, CA-The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center was bursting to full capacity of about 1400 people on Mar 28 for Nakul Dev Mahajan’s Annual performance by students of his NDM Bollywood Dance Studio. The show titled ‘Bollywood Travels’ is a ‘desi broadway musical...
What also stood out was the stage décor, backdrops that tremendously enhanced the experience of the show. The group Ruby swayed to ‘Dance like a Chanmiya’ from’Happy New Year’ with the stage all red with Chinese lanterns coming down the ceiling with Chinese Pagodas as a backdrop and the performers all dressed in kimonos with Chinese fans.
The office set up on stage at the far right hand worked well as a substitute to the traditional podium and the protagonist couple with the agent left no room for an emcee to break the reverie the audience are in on their journey around the world. We hear the audience burst into peals of laughter when ‘Passport Prakash’ snidely remarks about ‘coming out of the closet long ago’!
A trendsetter in Bollywood dancing, Nakul once again opened the gates with this Bollywood Musical Story where the dances followed a storyline that gave continuity like a movie with a beginning, an intermission and a happily ever after end.
Another attraction of the show was the troupe dances. These were the crème-de-la-crème dance students that excelled due to their dedication and practice.The troupe performed ‘Lal Ishq’ based on the Biblical story of Adam and Eve played by Nakul and Khushy Niazi. The ladies group had Renu Mahajan,mom to Nakul doing “I love my India’ from Pardes choreographed by Yash Patel.
Asked why this show was different than the preceding years,Nakul attributes it to withdrawing from a lot of local dance competitions and focusing on the art and soul of dance and music. “The pressure to win pins the focus on the trophy and takes the art out of the artist,”he said. “I could not have imagined being where I am without my parents to support my dream of opening a dance school” says Nakul.He also holds close to him all who have contributed toward making this show a success. The NDM students also move on to become dance instructors to further their training, as are Varun Gurunath, Khushy Niazi, Assad Keval, and Klemen Franco, all of who directed various items. Khushy also designed the costumes with makeup by Lishma Beauty which added to the grandiosity of the show. Parents left the show with smiles on their faces full of pride at the achievement of their kids, some who were known to be very shy and introverted. All in all, one could see how all the elements of music, lights, costumes, stage design, choreography, sound, editing synchronized to bring together a memorable show.