Devdas, the heart-breaking tale that has fascinated Bollywood for over 50 years, is being retold for the first time in its 112-year history in a musical production at Sydney’s NIDA Parade Theatres on Saturday, 24 August 2013.
With all the glamour and extravagance of Bollywood brought to life in a 92-minute original stage production, Devdas The Musical is set to captivate Australian audiences. With a cast of 50 dazzling dancers, 15 instrumentalists, percussionists and vocalists and over 400 spectacular costumes adorned with over 1000 pieces of intricate Indian jewellery, the stage will be ablaze with colour and sound in true Bollywood style.
Ruchi Sanghi, Artistic Director of Devdas The Musical and owner of Ruchi Sanghi Dance Company, hails from Mumbai where she trained in classical Indian dance from the age of seven. She has assisted on several Bollywood movies and won critical acclaim for her choreography of “The Nautch Girls” in 2010 and “Nine Flavours” in 2008.
“To present my interpretation of the Indian classic, with its known and loved characters, to the world as a staged musical in Sydney is an amazing feat. Devdas the Musical is my own fresh depiction of the traditional story, retold on stage with original music, beautiful unique costumes, and its very own choreography, ” said Ms Sanghi.
“I have drawn on many genres of dance to create a unique performance. Not only have I used traditional Indian folk dance such as Kathak, Bhangra and Ghoomar, I have also drawn upon flamenco, hip-hop and funk to give the performance a contemporary western flare.
“I have always felt a fascination with the two female protagonists, Chandramukhi and Paro. Through the dancers, the costumes and the music I hope to set the audiences senses alight and bring the story to a new audience and generation.”
Devdas The Musical, based on the 1901 novel of the same title by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, follows in the footsteps of other successful Indian musicals such as Merchants of Bollywood and Bombay Dreams, which have sparked a revival in the demand for Indian style theatre. Honouring its period, the production features colonial era props including intricate hand fans, genuine gramophones and antique silverware.
Devdas, is the story of a man and the two women who were never meant to be his – one who he never loved and one he never stopped loving. The tale is told through the eyes of a lonely and ageing Chandramukhi, once the richest and most beautiful courtesan of Benares who gave it all up for unrequited love.
Aparna Nagashayana, who hails from four generations of musicians, has composed the music behind the stage production of Devdas and worked with Sanghi on previous stage musicals.
“I have drawn upon many different genres of Indian music, such as folk, classical, Sufi and Qawwali when composing musical numbers for Devdas. I have created twelve original songs that will retell the classic story, whilst giving a contemporary edge for modern audiences to enjoy,” said Nagashayana.
Devdas The Musical
Two shows only – 2:30pm and 6:30pm
Saturday 24 August 2013
NIDA Parade Theatres, Kensington