Appalachian State University’s performing arts series, “The Schaefer Center Presents…” brings the razzle dazzle of Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue to the Schaefer Center stage on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7pm, as a stop on its North America tour. Through a fusion of film, dance, and music, this dazzling international sensation is a high-energy celebration of contemporary India’s pop music, Bollywood culture, and deep traditions featuring colorful costumes, joyful dance choreographed by one of Bollywood’s top young choreographers, Vaibhavi Merchant, and thrilling live music set to an unforgettable soundtrack featuring the songs of Oscar winner A.R. Rahman.
Taj Express was conceived and created in Film City, Mumbai, and subsequently enjoyed a smash hit, sell-out tour of the United Kingdom. The creative team has gathered India’s finest musicians to play live on stage, united dancers from some of the most popular Bollywood films, and features spectacular costumes and exquisitely designed film projections courtesy of the A-list of India’s film and fashion industries to deliver a fresh, dynamic and contemporary experience. Taj Express reveals the secrets of the world’s most prolific film industry and the people behind the screen who make the magic in India’s factory of dreams come to life right before your eyes.
The Story of Taj Express
“If A.R. Rahman is the Mozart of Madras, I want to be the Beethoven of Bollywood.” So declares young aspiring Indian composer Shankar, who is given his first big break in the film business, employed to create the soundtrack for a brand-new Bollywood movie. Shankar dreams of writing a song as successful as A.R Rahman’s Oscar-winning smash-hit “Jai Ho” from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. A.R. Rahman is India’s greatest ever musical genius and Shankar is his greatest fan.
The plot of the film Shankar must score is a romantic adventure across kaleidoscopic India aboard one of India’s iconic trains. Shankar must create the music of the streets, the folk festivals, the temple rituals, and a love song for “the greatest love story ever told.”
Shankar invites the audience into his music studio where they meet the experienced session musicians he has employed to make the soundtrack under the producer’s punishing deadlines. Shankar’s youthful ambitions clash with the executive’s sarcasm and cynicism.
As each song is composed, the production cuts to the film set to illustrate how Shankar’s thrilling, rhythmic music is interpreted by a stunning company of gorgeous dancers. When Shankar hits writer’s block, he researches A.R Rahman’s incredible life story to discover the reason for his success. Shankar becomes obsessed with Rahman’s life, beliefs and inspiration, struggles and set-backs, and Rahman’s determination to unite the nation with music.
At the heart of Taj Express is the story of one man’s passion and another man’s genius.
Tickets – Specially priced for Locals and Students
Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for locals (with proof of residence in Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties) and only $5 for all students. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 800-841-2787, 828-262-4046 or visit: http://theschaefercenter.org.
2019-20 Schaefer Center Presents Series
The performance series, presented by ASU’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, offers students, faculty, staff and the community a diverse array of music, theatre and dance events. The season also includes Old Crow Medicine Show (Sunday, Nov. 17), Lyle Lovett (Saturday, Feb. 1), A.I.M (Wednesday, Feb. 5), Trinity Irish Dance Company (Saturday, Feb. 22), L.A. Theatre Works: Seven (Tuesday, March 24), and Rosanne Cash (Saturday, April 4).
About “The Schaefer Center Presents…”
“The Schaefer Center Presents…” is a series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a “window on the world” through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, visit http://theschaefercenter.org.
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