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Bollywood Jane choreographer, Kesha Raithatha, tells us how she bought a fusion of extravagant East-West dance styles to Leicester’s own Cultural Quarter.
How would you describe the dance routines featured in Bollywood Jane?
I have tried to bring an eclectic range of styles and mood through all the routines. One thing they all have in common is the energy and pure joy that they bring to each song. We have elements of Indian classical, folk, character work, jazz inspired movement, Indian commercial and tons of expressions. I always try to work to the dancers’ strengths but have also challenged their physicality to go to a higher level so they can grow from this process.
How did you find incorporating Bollywood dance into a kitchen sink drama?
Bollywood is designed to help you escape from your day to day, 9-5 routine. It is a dreamer’s paradise where everything and anything is possible. With all that in mind, it was not difficult to implement Bollywood into a kitchen sink drama which confronts societal issues and the daily ups and downs of a young girl who needs hope re-instilled in her life.
Were you inspired by Diwale Dulhania Le Jayenge? If so, how?
DDLJ is a classic which is embedded in the lives of so many Indians whether they like it or not, realise it or not. The film has so many moments which have been paid homage to by many directors, actors and choreographers. It is something that happened quite naturally and willingly because those moments can still make any one smile.
You’ve been working with an amazing local community company, what have they all bought to the production?
Their amazing, unapologetic individuality. The best part of a community production is that they all come baring different gifts, talents and skills which when you put together, create something very special and unique. Their willingness and enthusiasm has only grown through the creation period. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them.
What elements are key for you to make the dance routines in this production really work?
Repetition, facial expressions, understanding the mood and feel of each dance, a thorough understanding of their performance space and of course how well they work together as a team to execute each movement with the right force and clarity.
Tickets for Bollywood Jane at Curve are on sale now. To book, click here, call 0116 242 3595 or visit the Box Office in person at Curve.