The culturally rich and artistically diverse Spirit of India was brought to Rose Theatre by the Bollywood Masala Orchestra on Thursday, Nov 26th.
Audiences witnessed a spectacular performance with awe-inspiring costume changes, unforgettable dance numbers, and soul stirring music. The 17-member troupe captivated the audience and transported them back to Rajasthan India. Masterminded by band leader Rahis Bharti, a spell was cast from the opening solo by Amrit Hussain, the group’s other tabla player.
This was followed by a colourful and joyful affirmation of the cultural heritage of the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan, where Bharti was born and raised as part of the seventh generation of a musical family.
The opening dance from the film Òm Shanti Om` was set to a fusion music in which Bharti blends traditional Indian sounds with a marching band, complete with a four-piece brass section. The costumes of the orchestra shimmered brightly whenever the lights moved over them.
The lead singer Sanjay Khan sang some melodious number from Bollywood like `Gulabi Ankhen`, Nimboo da Nimboo da`, `Khwaja mere khwaja`.
The audience was treated to female dancers twice before intermission with different brilliantly coloured garments for each dance.
The second half which was more engaging than the first.
A handsome, young gypsy from Rajasthan impressed the crowd by dancing while balancing a large pot on his head with as many as four drinking glasses in between. Hiking the degree of difficulty, he did it while standing on three small swords, then a bed of nails.
The female dancers performed a brilliant snake dance which delighted the audience members.
Several times during the performance the lead singer would stop to ask, “You feel good?” and would not stop asking until he got a loud response from the audience.. The orchestra had the audience clapping along to almost every song.
Throughout the evening, we were given an introduction to what the next performance was going to be about, with some excellent comments like `Our ancestors would perform for the kings and queens of Rajasthan. Now it is you`.
The most outstanding quote of the night was, “Our religion is of music and love, and if everyone believed in this, we could all get along.”
In conclusion, the lead singer asked the audience to stand up and join them in the last song. One of the dancers stood closer to the audience, and we were instructed to do as she did. As the music commenced, wrists started twirling all over Rose Theatre, Brampton.