Are you ready? Taj Express, a bollywood musical production is coming to Calgary and Edmonton, welcomed by Alberta Ballet, direct from Mumbai. There promises to be live music, colourful costume and high energy. Director Shruti Merchant is excited to bring the production to Alberta. Merchant has worked on films such as Dhoom, Lakshya, Baghban, Kuch Na Kaho, Kal Ho Na Ho, Devdas and Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
“I truly enjoy the creative process of staging musicals,” Merchant says about her creative process. “The main aim while conceptualizing a production is to be original, be different, and be the best. The challenge to create a show with fresh new content which speaks a universal language and is enjoyed by audiences worldwide is something that I love to take up every time I create a new production, be it a musical or a specially curated event.”
Bollywood is a very unique style of music and movement. “It is a rambunctious mix of song, dance, action and story that comes together in the best tradition of magical-realism,” Merchant explains. “Taj Express captures all of this and more.”
Merchant says she is inspired by her audiences. ” The audience reaction I get during the shows is my inspiration. The constant need to reach audiences and entertain them is what drives me. The opportunity to work with a great bunch of mad creative geniuses is another facet that inspires me.”
Taj Express will not only feature colourful song and dance, there will also be live music on stage. “Indian music is a term that very few people can truly define, because of the sheer richness of the genres that exist within it,” Merchant says. “I think Bollywood has managed to draw from various strains of Indian music, be it Hindustani, Thumri, or Rajasthani folk traditions. With three unbelievably talented musicians performing live on stage it gives the show a whole new dimension.”
Alberta Ballet welcomes Taj Express to Alberta, running September 25 – 28 in Calgary and October 4-5 in Edmonton. More information is available online.