The Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers are performing at the Sid Williams Theatre on Sept. 26.

Spirit of India set to energize Sid Williams Theatre

Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers perform Sept. 26

Mark Allan

Special to The Record

Passionate music, exhilarating dancing, colourful clothing, and eye-catching acrobatics.

It all adds up to the Spirit of India, a production by the Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers that promises to be one of the most energizing shows ever performed at the Sid Williams Theatre.

Coming to the Comox Valley from a European tour, the 16-performer ensemble appears Sept. 26 at the Sid, part of the Blue Circle Series.

Founder and artistic director Rahis Bharti provided details during a phone interview from Germany.

Born in Jaipur, Bharti estimates he has shared the culture of the northwest Indian province of Rajasthan in 1,000 concerts in 85 countries in the past 14 years.

That includes his earlier groups the Dhoad Gypsies from Rajasthan and the Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band.

“Always I was seeking to create something new for India, for Rajasthan, for northern India,” he said about creating the Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers four years ago.

“What I have done, I brought Indian dancers and traditional musicians from Rajasthan together. It’s something new mixing live music and the dance.”

A tabla (Indian drum) player, Bharti said he taught his musicians to create something new while still honouring Indian traditions.

“We always keep our traditions alive. We are the guardians of our traditions,” stated Bharti, born into the seventh generation of an Indian musical family that has performed for maharajas.

Travelling allows them to share that culture around the world, most recently about 40 shows in Europe.

“We were in Georgia, we were in Germany, in France, in Italy, then we are really excited to come to North America.”

The troupe is performing in Canada and the U.S. from September through November.

Shepherding such a large group on an international tour of two continents over seven months is no small challenge, he admitted.

For instance, acquiring travel visas from multiple countries for everyone on the tour is a big job by itself, he commented.

All the effort is worth it, he added.

“The symbol of Masala Bollywood Orchestra is bringing our tradition and bringing happiness to the people, and bringing the colour of India to the people.”

Performing sold-out concerts for 14 years making audiences happy encourages him to overcome the challenges of international travel.

While his troupe can bend about many things while away from their homeland, there is one subject where compromise is not an option.

“We never make compromises with food. If we are going to other countries, we always put in our technical rider (in performance contracts) that we need Indian food.”

In case they play in smaller communities without access to Indian food ingredients, orchestra members bring their own Indian chili peppers, he said.

The Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers perform Sept. 26 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay. For details and tickets, visit sidwilliamstheatere.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit the Sid box office at 442 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay.

Mark Allan is a freelance writer and a former editor of the Comox Valley Record.

 

Just Posted

Mid-Vancouver Island air quality risk very high

Residents of the mid-Island area went to bed last night and awoke… Continue reading

Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue kept busy across the province

CVGSAR had a busy week, sending rescuers as far away as Invermere

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Despite threats, Soldiers of Odin a no show at B.C. tent city

Nanaimo’s Discontent City held a counter rally on Sunday

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in 2019

PM Justin Trudeau gears up to run in next year’s election

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

The pilot project provides seasonal workers with up to five more weeks of benefits

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report

Trump takes to Twitter calling Robert Mueller “disgraced and discredited”

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Most Read