Houston’s Ghoomar has a Swag

Naach in 7

Photos: Navin Mediwala

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By Staff Reporter

HOUSTON: A show bookended by two iconic songs Swag Se Swagat and Ghoomar has to be iconic, inspirational and full of grandeur. This year, Moksh Community Arts produced Houston’s Got Bollywood – The Great Indian Wedding, conceived and directed by Mahesh Mahbubani and performed by the talented team of Naach Houston. After the spectacular debut of “Houston’s Got Bollywood” franchise at Miller Outdoor theater last year, the team at Naach took it a notch above par with the ‘Great Indian Wedding’. Saturday, April 14, started off with stormy clouds and rain but by afternoon, the skies cleared up for a crisp cool evening and the line at the Miller Box Office snaked around the revered theater as fans came in throngs to pick up tickets early. The hill at Miller showed signs of life as the audience picnicked from 4 pm onwards with kites and frisbees enjoying a glorious afternoon that soon turned into a truly entertaining evening.

Naach in 6

Dr. Manish Rungta, the President of Moksh Community Art opened the show by introducing Moksh to the audience and highlighting the activities undertaken by this nonprofit followed by Malay Vyas, the Vice President who thanked  the sponsors as well as welcomed the attendees to “The Great Indian Wedding”. The curtain opened to Swag Se Swaagat followed by Jaanu Meri Jaan instantly warming up the audience against the cool evening breeze.

Naach in 5

Houston’s got Bollywood, was a crisp and seamless 90 minute show comprising of four acts leading to one of the most interesting aspects of Indian Culture – the Great Indian Wedding.
Act 1 Titled On The Radio – featuring songs from yesteryears, originals and remixed often-heard on radio rather than seen on television. Songs from varied genres flowed such as Tamma (disco), Udi Udi Jaaye (folk), Oonchi Hai Building (Bollywood) and Mercy (hiphop) to bring Act 1 to a foot tapping closure.

Naach in 4

Act 2 Titled “Around the World”, dedicated to the passionate fans of Bollywood who are spread all over the globe. Starting with yesteryear’s classic Shola Jo Bhadke in the inimitable style of actor Bhagwanji, followed by feet taping hip hop number Swalla and getting the beat up higher with Bom Diggy and circling back to Afghan Jalebi and Dedi to bring in a Middle Eastern flavor to the global tour, concluding with the fun filled Galti se Mistake.

Naach in 3

The shows produced by Moksh Community Arts and Directed by the Naach team have always been strong on the contemporary dance form. Act 3, titled Sufiana expressed itself through exquisite Choreography to songs like Subhan-Allah, Chaar Kadam, Baarish and maestro Mahesh Mahbubani himself featuring in & as the Jogi.

Naach in 2

The Finale, Act 4 was dedicated to the centerpiece of the show – the Great Indian Wedding opening with the Mehendi Ceremony using theatre and dance to communicate the ritual of mehendi at the bride’s house. The act opened to reveal a magnificent set decor often found in grand Indian Weddings, with Shahrukh Khan’s classic Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le jayenge, Other songs in this section included Ghani Baawri, Hawa Hawaaii and Love Letter.

Naach in 1

The fun of a Sangeet night post Mehendi, as it does typically in an Indian Wedding , created a mood of fun, friendship and celebration, as the tempo of songs picked up, with the all boy super hit song Sexy baliye, Piya More, Mere Piya Gaye England and Hawa Hawa from Mubarakaan.

Concluding with the Wedding itself Kehna Hi Kya featuring the Bride’s introduction and Baari Barsi bringing the groom on stage, leading to The wedding ceremony, including the 7 pheras’ around the fire complete with varmaalaa and a priest, through mesmerizing choreography to the song Sajdaa.

As the audience took in the grand atmosphere of an Indian Wedding, they were then treated to arguably the most colorful Bollywood song ever performed at Miller. While the dancers on the floor were dressed in colorful traditional ghaghraas (long skirts with detailed embroidery including mirrors), umbrellas of similar decor lowered from the top of the stage creating virtual reflection as the dancers twirled, so did the umbrella. Lighting Director Arif Memon added luminous splendor to the entire production with his creative use of lighting.

The curtain call on Sweety Tera Drama with infectious energy with the whole team rocking the Miller stage was an amazing way to end the night.

Moksh Community Arts introduced the choreographers of the show, thanked the Miller Outdoor Theater Crew. The photography was by Navin Mediwala and Videography by Shivendra Singh.

A show of such magnificence wouldn’t have been possible without the support of sponsors such as The Rungta Foundation, Baylor – St Luke’s Medical Group, Ajay & Larissa Sharma, Alnoor & Shelina Mallick, Coldwel Bankers – United Realtors, Bombay Pizza Express, Indo-American News, NTV and Decor One.

For more information visit mokshcommunityarts.com