Bollywood Blast Takes Us on a Filmi Magic of Love

In pictures, different dance performances at the Bollywood Blast 2013, that took place at the Miller Outdoor Theatre on September 1. Photos: Navin Mediwala

In pictures, different dance performances at the Bollywood Blast 2013, that took place at the Miller Outdoor Theatre on September 1.
Photos: Navin Mediwala

By Manu Shah

HOUSTON: The overflowing crowds that showed up to watch BOLLYWOOD BLAST 2013 at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park on Sunday, September 1, is yet another endorsement to the far reaching pull and magic that Bollywood music and dance has across the globe. With Houston being no exception to this influence, “One, two, three, four, get on the dance floor” is exactly what 80 dancers did to create an event that was bubbling with youthful energy, vibrancy and movie masala.


Presented by Samskiti Indian Performing Arts, an organization that has been at the forefront of showcasing Houston’s desi talent for the past 7 years – BOLLYWOOD BLAST 2013 – MAGIC OF LOVE was directed and choreographed by Tina Bose-Kumar and Kiron Kumar of Infused Performing Arts with Artistic Director Dr. Rathna Kumar.


The tone of this musical love story was set with a cleverly filmed and entertaining trailer on the “magic of love” by Ajay Sarpeskar.  In this trailer, we are introduced to Babli, a Punjabi kudi (Tina Bose) and Kumar, a South Indian boy (Kiron Kumar) who is visibly proud of his roots and what he calls “the lungi brigade can do”.


A flashback next takes the audience to an intercollegiate dance competition where the two meet for the first time and are pitted against each other in the semifinals. The audience cheered and hooted with delight as the two semifinal teams danced to chartbusters Babli Badmash and Singham. Kumar’s team is declared the winner and is all set to enter the finals. A visibly upset Babli walks away to Kumar’s mocking “why this Kolaveri di” but fate has a plan to bring the two together.  Kumar’s lead dancer literally breaks a leg and is unable to dance in the finals.  Kumar decides to approach Babli to see if she will agree to be their lead dancer.  Babli agrees and love blossoms between the two.

Samskriti 5

Kumar serenades Babli with HipHop Pammi and the popular and immensely hummable “Tere Naina.”  However as is often said and seen, the path of true love is never smooth and the two face the age old barrier of parental disapproval. The Punjabi- South Indian angle is played out by the two fathers who disagree on how the wedding is to be performed and the marriage is called off.  A crestfallen Kumar dances away his woes with a few lungi wearing friends while a reluctant Babli is forced to marry the boy chosen by her father. The timely intervention of Dabbang’s Chulbul Pandeyji with his trademark dark glasses hooked to the back of the collar saves the day, reunites the lovers and brings all the 80 dancers together for the grand finale.

The costumes by Tina Bose-Kumar were colorful and smart, the technical team was adept, the quick succession of dances was fast paced and lively and the inclusion of a couple of South Indian songs like Naakku Mukku added to the diversity of the selected songs.  The bhangra vs bhartnatyam faceoff between the two fathers was hilariously exaggerated by Karthik Chander and Prem Baweja.

But the biggest round of applause goes to the lead male dancer Kumar who seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of energy and moves that looked effortless.  He was ably assisted by the lead female dancer, Tina, as well as the talented and enthusiastic group dancers who with numbers like Panghat pe naache Madubala, Hip Hip Hurrah and Disco Deewane had the crowds cheering.  One could see the hours of training and practice that was put in to put up a show that was well choreographed and executed.