(Many thanks to Katrina Ji for this guest post. Did you know that next year our Cultural Focus is India? Look forward to even more Indian dance and music to come. Full 2013 Folklife schedule is online now at www.nwfolklife.org/festival.)
I am so excited to be hosting the Bollywood Showcase (sponsored by NW Asian Weekly) for the 3rd year at the Northwest Folklife Festival! Our first year was a mere 30 min showcase on the Mural Amphitheater Stage. Now we are hosting a full 90 minute show at the Exhibition Hall (International Stage) on Friday, May 24 beginning at 7pm. What’s even more special is that I am hosting 3 of my former teachers in Bollywood Dance (Shub Gill, Nalini, Mollie Singh)! Now, I have my own dance company, The Bollywood Project.
Recently, I spent a month in India where I obtained costumes from a Bollywood costume rental shop in Mumbai (Bombay). During Bhangra Bistar, we will be wearing costumes that were worn in a real Bollywood movie! Another exciting thing about The Bollywood Project’s performance this year is that we have collaborated with Chi Shen, Bhangra choreographer.
While in India, I performed with International star Queen Harish at the India Military Base in Rajasthan. I also had the honor of meeting Kamruddin Khan. He is not only a musician but a dance choreographer. He taught Aishwarya Rai the dances for Nimbooda. It was fun looking through his scrapbook of stars that he has worked with. Along with Kamruddin, I met his brother Immamdin Khan (Director, Ustad Arba Music Group), Suva Devi (Khalbelia Dancer, Starred in Latcho Drom) and 7 other musicians. We are working on a USA Tour called Rajasthani Gypsy Caravan in Summer 2014.
Many Bollywood songs have been based on the old folk songs of Rajasthan. So, we are very excited to be working with this group.
I have integrated some Rajasthani Dance into my students choreography Dil Dhak Dhak Dadke that will be seen in the Bollywood Showcase.
Katrina Ji, Artistic Director, The Bollywood Project & Skin Deep Dance
(Want to try a little Bollywood dancing yourself? Katrina will also be hosting a workshop at 1pm on Friday t0o!)