Get ready for Bollywood dance and music with The Bollywood Trip this December

Dive into a world of drama and mayhem with The Bollywood Trip, here from 12 – 18 December at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Direct from its Copenhagen premiere with five star reviews, The Bollywood Trip hits London with a bang. East meets West as an international cast of actors, dancers and musicians present this tragi-comedy by Republique, one of Denmark’s most acclaimed theatre companies.

Get ready for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Bollywood! And here are some translated five star reviews to wet your appetite!

“Republique especially concentrates on a modern interpretation of “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” this autumn: The performance “The Bollywood Trip” spiced up with lots of Bollywood dance by the prominent Indian kathak choreographer, Gauri Sharma Tripathi.

Bollywood movies are a media for normal people to escape from reality. For instance if you are driving a rickshaw in India and working for 15 hours a day it’s a relief to go to the cinema and indulge in a Bollywood movie that use the whole gamut of emotions. The dancing in the movies is not just movements but has a long tradition, and the feelings are the backbone of Bollywood. And so they will be in The Bollywood Trip,” says Indian Gauri Sharma Tripathi and emphasises that it’s important to understand the great impact of Bollywood movies in India and that the singing and dancing scenes are the most important elements of the movies.

She is the leading modern kathak choreographer of international theatre. With London as her base for the last 14 years she has worked closely together with the British dance star Akram Khan and created amazing kathak solos in several of his work, inclusive “Gnosis” which was shown her in Denmark last year.

(The show) characterises kathak and Bollywood dance that the rhythm of the feet is very complex.    

Kathak is one of the classic dances that are done standing with your body straight. It’s a very flexible dance that can be formed according to the circumstances. For instance you can exclude the rhythms of the feet and say it with your voice instead and you can use many different fragments from kathak in Bollywood dance.

(For The Bollywood Trip) the dance is an incorporated part of the whole performance. However, the four dancers in the performance, who come from India and London and are professional kathak dancers like Gauri, will make sure we get some pure, sparkling and happy dance scenes.    

 Kathak is after all a dance that was traditionally used for storytelling and we will try to incorporate really hard core kathak movements in the story. But all dancers are also very skilled at many other dance expressions like Indian folk and chhau dance. We will try to make the story move through the dance. But movements are not enough by itself. You also need a strong presence on stage. Both mime and gestures are important elements of the kathak as well as the Bollywood dance. The hands can tell a whole story but the posture of the head, the face and the eyes are also very important. Eyes talk and communicate a lot. It’s possible to have one scene with only the eyes dancing.

(Berlingske, 6/9-11 *****)

“The Indian-British choreographer Gauri Sharma Tripathi created a whirling choreography placed between catwalk and kathak dance that forces the audience to give in to this ‘License to Dance’…the aesthetics of The Bollywood Trip is foremost the one of the theatre concert – with cool images of dancers waving their long, black hair down the stage slope.” (Information, 09.10.2011)

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dancEUnion at Southbank Centre

Next week we welcome back our previous Head of Dance & Performance,Nicky Napier Nicky Napier [nee Molloy] at Southbank Centre to curate dancEUnion – a selection of dance from twenty European countries over three days.

Including artists and companies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and United Kingdom, dancEUnion is show-casing the best of European contemporary dance and physical theatre.

LondonDance.com caught up with Nicky to ask her more about the festival and her hot picks for the weekend.

Read the full interview here

See dancEUnion at Southbank Centre 15 – 17 March 2011. Get tickets here