India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Zangoora: Bollywood comes alive on stage

September 22, 2010

Zangoora

It’s not a film, not a play and not a dance-drama. Well, maybe it’s a fusion of all three.

But “Zangoora: The Gypsy Prince”, billed as Bollywood’s biggest musical ever, is definitely something Indian audiences have never seen before.

At the newly launched ‘Kingdom of Dreams‘ on the outskirts of Delhi, an elephant pops up on stage, the hero arrives flying on an eagle, the heroine swings down to the proscenium — of course, all this with the help of wires, stage props and huge LED screens that bring palaces and dungeons to life.

Zangoora

“Zangoora” is a celebration of Bollywood over the years, with dances set to popular musical numbers.

The vivid costumes, aerial acrobatics, sound effects and flawless choreography weave a tale of fantasy on the stage.

Of course, there is nothing new about the storyline of a young prince raised by a troupe of wandering gypsies far from the kingdom while the villain kills his parents and usurps the throne.

This is a Bollywood musical so all’s going to end well, good will triumph over evil, the prince will surely get back his throne and win his lady love.

Zangoora

Does the story really matter? If “Zangoora” were a Bollywood film, I would be sceptical about its success at the box-office.

But at the ‘Kingdom of Dreams’, the scenes unfold in front of a live audience spellbound by the aerial sequences, special-effects and even a bit of magic.

Interest does flag in the second half as “Zangoora” hurtles towards its expected climax and you keep wondering if there is some new aerial stunt or unseen special effect in the offing.

Some of the denouement scenes are a tad melodramatic but the rest of the two-hour show more than makes up for it.

Zangoora

I can’t help wondering whether “Zangoora” would have been a bigger draw with Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai.

Viraf Sarkari, the man behind ‘Kingdom of Dreams’, has said “Zangoora” cost much more than a Bollywood movie. A few millions more may have sufficed to bring in a more saleable star.

Even so, the musical seems perfectly cast with a bunch of talented television and theatre actors. There’s Zangoora (Hussain Kuwajerwalla), his gypsy dancing partner Laachi (Gauahar Khan), princess Sonali (Kashmira Irani), villain Zohrawar (Sadanand Patil) and dozens of minor characters and dancers.

At an entry fee ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 rupees, watching musicals at the ‘Kingdom of Dreams’ may be a luxury for India’s middle-class but for those who can afford it — you have to watch “Zangoora”.

Zangoora

Comments

This seems like the start of a new era in India’s theatre scene. However, no art form can aspire to thrive if its not accessible to the masses.

Posted by kaurhanit | Report as abusive
 

i would like to thank retures tommorow ihave to say asppech and i have found suuficent material for it

Posted by kavitalalita | Report as abusive
 

ZANGOORA AND KINGDOM OF DREAMS IS A SHITTY CONCEPT, AND ACTUSLLY, A KINGDOM OF SHATTERING DREAMS. I HAVE JUST BEEN BACK FROM THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS, AND MUCH TO MY DISMAY, I FOUND ALL THE COMPLIMENTS IN THE PAPERS AND MEDIA, TO BE BIASED, MAYBE DUE TO THE EXTRA BENDING BACKWARDS OR BY SOME SORT OF PALM GREASING. I HAD GONE WITH MY FAMILY OF 4 TO VIEW THE 2.30 PM SHOW ON 18/12. WHEN I REACHED THE ENTRANCE OF THE THEATRE, I WAS ADVSD, TO WAIT, AS IT WILL TAKE 10 MINUTES FOR THE SHOW TO START, AND BY THE TIME, MY SON CAME BACK FROM THE WASHROOM, WE WERE ADVSD THAT THE SHOW HAD STARTED AND THAT WE CAN ENTER ONLY AFTER ANOTHER 5 MINUTES, AS THE SHOW HAD STARTED, ONCE THE DIALOGUES ARE OVER, WE CAN GAIN ENTRY. I WAS FLABBERGASTED, AS NOWHERE, WHILE BUYING THE TICKETS, OR AT THE ENTRANCE, WAS IT ADVSD SO. LIKE US, THERE WERE MANY PEOPLE, WHO WERE NOT LET TO ENTER. THUS I SAY, THAT EVEN AFTER NUYING A TICKET, 10 TIMES, MORE THAN THE MOVIE TICKETS, THIS IS THE FATE, WE MEET, THEN WHAT IS THE USE OF SUCH SHOWS, AS MY 10K WENT WASTE, AS THE MOOD WAS SO SPOILED, BY THE BOUNCERS THERE, THAT WE JUST CAME BACK, DISHEATRENED. I HOPE AND PRAY, THAT SUCH SHOWS ARE BANNED, AS THEY ARE JUST TO FLEECE THE PEOPLE OF THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY.

Posted by chandolasomen | Report as abusive
 

ZANGOORA – A WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME. IF YOU HAVE EXCESS MONEY, THE RATHER THAN WASTING IT ON ZANGOORA, AND THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS, DONATE IT FOR CHARITY. AT LEAST, YOU WILL FEEL NICE, RATHER THAN CRIB ABOUT BEING CHEATED AT THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS

Posted by chandolasomen | Report as abusive
 

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