Bom­bay beats on the stage

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

A Bol­ly­wood dance troupe is spic­ing things up with a per­for­mance like no other.

Bom­bay Beat: Bol­ly­wood Heat is In­di­ance dance school’s arena scale pro­duc­tion where the au­di­ence sit in a cir­cu­lar stage giv­ing them a 360 de­gree view.

Lead ac­tor Akash Kumar says with 80 per­form­ers and no easy way to es­cape back stage there will cer­tainly be chal­lenges.

‘‘We haven’t seen this done any­where else. We’ve done big theatre per­for­mances, but noth­ing like this,’’ he says.

Es­sen­tially the show is a love story brought to life through the cos­tumes and toe-tap­ping mu­sic that make the Bol­ly­wood style what it is.

For Mr Kumar it’s a chance to con­nect with his her­itage. The 19-year-old ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dent is of In­dian de­scent but born here.

His mother, Puke­ta­papa Lo­cal Board mem­ber Ella Kumar, was also born here while his fa­ther was born in In­dia.

Mr Kumar has never been to the coun­try but hopes to visit soon.

‘‘When I watch Bol­ly­wood it re­minds me of what it would be like to be in In­dia.

‘‘It’s a creative con­nec­tion as well, it’s a way for me to ex­press my­self,’’ he says.

The Mt Roskill res­i­dent has his heart set on mak­ing his liv­ing as an ar­chi­tect af­ter he grad­u­ates from Unitec but can also see a fu­ture in am­a­teur theatre.

He has ap­peared in shows of The Sound Of Mu­sic and High School Mu­si­cal.

He got in­volved with In­di­ance when he was nine.

Mr Kumar is still one of only a few males at his dance school de­spite Bol­ly­wood’s in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity among Ki­wis.

‘‘It’s all right be­cause I get to be in a lot more dances whereas the girls have to fight for po­si­tions,’’ he says.

Bom­bay Beat: Bol­ly­wood Heat is on July 27 at Voda­fone Events Cen­tre.

Tick­ets from iticket.co.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Gear­ing up: Akash Kumar is play­ing the lead role in In­di­ance dance school’s up­com­ing pro­duc­tion

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