NEW YORK – Bollywood Boulevard: A Journey Through Hindi Cinema, created by Mela Productions, in association with Aaditaal Music Project, attracted over 4,000 patrons at Lincoln Center, in Manhattan. The show, on August 3rd, was part of Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors.
Featuring 18 dancers, 9 musicians, digital backdrops and short films, over 100 years of Indian artistry of Hindi cinema was alive during this exuberant stage show. A vibrant group of dancers and musicians took the audience on a journey through time as they captured the history of Bollywood, from black-and-white classics to colorful blockbusters, stringing the spirit and romance of India’s grand palaces, mountain vistas, and sweeping mustard fields to Damrosch Park.
Lincoln Center not only served as the presenter of the show, but also the lead commissioning partner, breathing life into an idea conceived by Heena Patel of Mela Productions and created in partnership with Rushi Vakil of Aaditaal Music Project.
“There are so many skilled Bollywood dancers and musicians in the five boroughs and New Jersey – Lincoln Center’s backyard – but with limited professional opportunities. By commissioning this show, it was an opportunity for us to invest in the next generation of creators from this community and showcase what they are capable of,” Jill Sternheimer, Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center, said in a statement.
While the performance cast hails from the tristate, the project itself is an international collaboration between creatives based in the U.S. and India.
“Every person involved is an ardent fan of Hindi cinema and their passion could be seen in each aspect of the show,” India-based executive producer, creator, and music director Rushi Vakil, said.
Bollywood Boulevard demonstrated the magnetic power of Hindi cinema and Indian entertainment. Audience members engaged in the performance by singing along with the singers and dancing in the aisles.
“The premiere was more than what we could have imagined. It truly was an evening of pure love, joy, and beauty, and to see the show so thoroughly enjoyed made all the hardwork of the last 8 months worth it,” U.S.-based executive producer, creator, and dancer Heena Patel, said.
With the overwhelmingly positive response, Bollywood Boulevard will commence on a tour in early 2018 with a series of performances in February and March in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York before heading across the country later in the year.