China wants Bollywood for New Year`s eve

Updated: Dec 27, 2012, 18:01 PM IST

Beijing: A Bollywood extravaganza is set to hit drawing rooms of the Chinese audience on the New Year eve as the state run China Television has commissioned for the first time an Indian dance troupe to regale its viewers.

Billed as the most watched entertainment programme on the night of December 31, a 47-member Indian dance troupe `Taj Express` headed by Shruti Merchant would perform a four and half minute programme on the CCTV`s New Year gala.

This is the second show of substance involving Indian content to feature in China this month as the country is already swept by `Life of Pi`, the Hollywood movie made by Taiwan-born Ang Lee with an elaborate Indian theme and cast.

The film ran at packed houses in China and created a major awareness about India and its culture after Raj Kapur`s `Awara`, whose title song is still on the lips of the most of the middle and older generations.

A large contingent of Chinese media today attended the premier of the musical `Taj Express` held at the Indian Embassy here today. The troupe is spearheaded by Shruti, younger sister of Bollywood choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant.

Bollywood dances are not new to China but this is the first time an attempt is being made by an Indian troupe to hold commercial shows here.

The troupe has already performed in Nanchang and Haiko, where Shruti said they received a "fantastic reception" with the audience coming on to the stage to take part in the dance.

Organisers said the two shows were a big success as 80 per cent of the tickets were sold. The troupe is now in Beijing to perform in the CCTV show and later hold similar shows in Guangzhou, Xiamen, Wuhan and Shenshen and Foshan.

It is not a Bollywood show but a colourful presentation of Indian culture to the Chinese audience, one of the organisers said.

Considering the popularity of the Indian music and dance, the Indian Embassy has established a cultural section with experts from India to teach Chinese enthusiasts.

PTI / KJM Verma