The Merchants of Bollywood
Charting the history of the world’s largest, most prolific film industry and the dynasty of stars that have lit its way over generations, The Merchants of Bollywood has already been seen by over two million people in more than 1000 performances across 20 countries. This heart-warming show is both a vibrant homage to the world of Bollywood cinema and an exhilarating evening of music and dance.
Written and directed by Toby Gough and produced by Mark Brady, the show draws inspiration from the story of the Merchant family – a choreographing dynasty who have been Bollywood’s leading figures in filmmaking, music and choreography for generations. The heroine, Ayesha Merchant, trained by her grandfather in the ancient Kathak tradition, leaves home to become a choreographer for extravagant Bollywood musicals, before being drawn back to her artistic roots in Rajasthan.
Featuring a cast of over 40 performers adorned in 1,200 different eye-popping costumes and 5,000 pieces of glistening jewellery, this uplifting show is a riot of colour and high-energy music by award-winning composers Salim and Sulaiman Merchant. Sensational dance scenes are choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant, granddaughter of Hiralalji Merchant, one the founders of classic Bollywood Cinema. Merchant’s choreography incorporates many different styles of Indian dancing including folkloric dance from Rajasthan and contemporary forms such as disco – showcasing the true variety of Bollywood musicals.
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Most exhilarating musical seen this year.
“Uplifting show……….a real dazzler”
Taut and buff bodies glisten… dazzle, shimmer and sparkle… the choreography and visual appeal is as slick and sexy as any MTV promo.
“Their energy is electrifying, their movements suffused with a rush of joy and yet ruthlessly precise and the frenetic flow of onstage activity is almost non – stop. It’s a high octane pleasure to warm up the coldest winter night.”
The traditional music, interspersed with Western pop sounds, is strongly rhythmic and highlighted with lavishly choreographed dance numbers. A mixture that gives rise to a sumptuous feast for the senses.
Strong emotions, a lot of tears and a Happy End: The dance and costume event was reminiscent of an Indian meal: wellseasoned, spicy and, most especially, colourful.
Perfect: a mixture of kitsch, eroticism and exoticism. Intoxicating! After a two-and-a-half hour high, the swaying arena visitors were ready to jump onto the dance floor themselves.