Date: 26th July 2002
The UK is currently experiencing an explosion of Bollywood. From fashion gurus dressing models in bangles, silk and saris to the V&A exhibiting film posters, you can’t fail to notice the trendy phenomenon.
Front covers of Sunday supplements and listing magazines carry vibrant images of Bollywood icons and beautiful leading ladies heralding our Indian summer.
Let’s begin with cinema, which is growing on the country’s mainstream audience. In August ‘The Guru’, starring Jimi Mistry, dishes up a generous serving of a groovy mix of Bollywood/Hollywood dance theatrical routines.
As well as being hot on everybody’s lips right now, the forthcoming film releases of such ‘Bollywood Queen’ and ‘Bombay Calling’, the Indian film industry is actually most prolific in the world and has been for 70 years.
Producing around a thousand films a year, Hindi cinema has played a major part in entertaining millions regardless of religion, class or geographical distance and has successfully introduced social issues, like domestic violence and gang warfare, without stripping away any of the spectacle. They are globally infamous for the glamorous, colourful costumes and their all singing and dancing high camp.
The movies have been hugely significant to the lives of British-born Asians growing-up in the UK, as they had never seen kindred spirits on the big screen before. It makes sense, therefore, that we should now be celebrating the magic of Bollywood with events such as ImagineAsia festival, which showcases the cream of South Asian cinema nationwide.
A new TV series, ‘Bollywood Women’, is set to start soon on Channel 4 and a multitude of Hindi inspired movies, made all over the world, are due to hit cinema screens across Britain.
Outside the cinema theatres people soaked up music under summer skies recently. Billed as the “biggest Bollywood concert ever”, ‘From Bollywood With Love’ took place in Hyde Park in aid of The Princes Trust.
Later in the year a similar indoor event, ‘From India with Love’ will take place at Manchester’s Old Trafford Stadium later this year starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Preity Zinta, and Aishwarya Rai.
The Victoria and Albert museum is currently hosting an exhibition of more than 70 film posters dating back to the 50’s. Cinema India: The Art of Bollywood is the first ever major exhibition of posters and hoardings from Indian cinema. The exhibition also features the Star series of photographs, light box images of the most important Bollywood stars.
And of course you’ve got the cricket between England and India to be screened in Regent’s Park on July 27 & 29.
Up and down the country there’ll be numerous local Asian festivals, Melas, celebrating the food, music, dance and fashion.
The new Lloyd Webber production ‘Bombay Dreams’ has brought Hindi musical to the Westend in true Bollywood style with music by Indian composer A.R. Rahman. Meera Syal wrote the script and stars Priya Kalidas, Raza Jaffrey, Ayesha Dharker and Dalip Taher. The dream started in June and continues to sell out.
Not forgetting films like Monsoon Wedding, Lagaan and the hugely successful Bollywood month at Selfridges recently, it seems the effervescent culture is offering the glamour, escapism and philosophy we’re embracing this summer.
Catch before the summer slips away:
Anoushka Shankar on tour
Accompanied by the brilliant tabla players Bikram Ghosh and Tanmoy Bose.
Mon July 15: Bridge Water Hall, Manchester
Thurs July 18: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Fri July 19: St George's Brandon Hall, Bristol
Weds July 24: Dewsbury Town Hall
Sat July 27: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Sun July 28: WOMAD, Reading
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Asian comedians like The Funjabis will be performing for the second time in the biggest Performing Arts festival in the world. This year they will be performing in a popular venue, next to Royal Mile.
The Jaagran All Nighter Party
July 26 @ The Venue, Leicester University, University Road, Leicester.
2 Arenas playing the best of both worlds - Bhangra, Bollywood, Garage, R&B and Hip Hop. Arena 1 – The Mirage, RDB, Panjabi Hit Squad, DJ San-J Sanj and Dream Sounds Roadshow. Arena 2 – The Oasis, DJ Flo, Kid J, DJ K, Dee Lay, Nitrous Cru. Features on the night: Dhol Players, Henna Artistes, Drinks Promotions, Give-aways and much much more...
Every Friday @ Bar Bollywood, 34 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W1
Entrance: £10 – Guest List and couples Only
Crème de la crème of the young professional in mature surroundings complimented by the fusion of east meets west Music policy. Popular with media savvy crowd.
Jeff Mirza’s Comedy Night
July 30 @ Bar Bollywood, London
Also on the night Paul Chowdhry, Paul Zerdin and Valentine Flyguy. After party hosted by resident DJ's, Bar Bollywood All-Stars.
New Inidan Art Exhibition
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester.
July 13 to September 1, 2002
The Exhibition attempts to convey the overwhelming visual intensity of India and shows how art thrives in India's galleries, streets and the daily activities of life.
The Guru released by UiP August 23rd.
Jimi Mistry plays a dance teacher who moves to New York to find fame and fortune as an actor, but unwittingly becomes a sex guru to Manhattan-ites seeking ‘fulfilment’.
Source: Press Release