Local dancers ready to Blame it on Bollywood

It’s going to be big, and loud, and spectacular as Bollywood takes over at the Teatro at Montecasino in October. Preparations are coming together perfectly for the highly anticipated production of Blame it on Bollywood, which will be in Gauteng for eight performances only.

A talented and star-studded Indian cast has been signed up to bring this humorous story about love, marriage and family to life. Starring acclaimed actor Anant Mahadevan and television personality Jayati Bhatia, as the parents of bride-to-be Anchal Sabharwal, this story of the great Indian wedding is brought to South Africa by producer Ashvin Gidwani and theatre, film and advertising personality Bharat Dabholkar (who wrote Blame it on Bollywood and will be directing). Added to the cast are 15 local dancers, who were carefully handpicked by Dabholkar and choreographer Hormuzd Khambata.

“Bollywood is all about the glitz, the glamour, the colour, the music, and of course the dancing,” said Dabholkar. “We needed cast members who would pop, who would give the show the razzmatazz it needs in order to pull off an authentic, quality Bollywood extravaganza. These dancers have that razzmatazz, the energy and the dance moves to make it happen.”

“What has become known as Bollywood dancing is actually a mixture of numerous styles, from Indian folk dancing to belly-dancing. These dancers have been chosen for their skills, their ability to adapt, and of course their energy. They are going to set the stage alight,” said Khambata.

The locals are as eclectic as the performance they have been chosen for, and range from entrepreneurs and students to a fitness instructor and a former beauty salon owner.

They include: Angelita Horsch, Julia Maleshwani, Julian Jaye Louw, Kaylan Sabbadin, Lindiwe Nene, Nhlanhla Zwane, Nicol Sheraton, Nina Botha, Nonkululeko Vilakazi, Stefanie Pereira, Tamlyn Watt, Thokozane Mdluli, Tiaan Visser, Tshepo Mohlabane and Tyra Nurden.Angelita Horsch and Tshepo Mohlabane

  • 39-year-old martial arts enthusiast Nhlanhla Zwane hails from Alexandra. Zwane is from the acclaimed Tribhangi Dance Theatre, which performs Indian classical dancing as the foundation of its shows. She brings with her tons of international experience, having performed on five continents for charities, protests and concerts.

Former Football World Cup and carnival dancer Lindiwe Nene is 31 and from Soweto. Among her various international gigs are Football World Cups and Afcon cup opening and closing ceremonies, including in Germany (2006), South Africa (2010) and Afcon (2013).

Small business owner Maleshwane Julia Radebe, who hails from Soweto. Owning her own business has taught her the value of patience. “I believe that patience and hard work are the only tools to success and that is the way I am going about growing my business,” said the 23-year-old Radebe.

B-Fit n Fab dancer Julian Louw. The 29-year-old comes from Morningside in Johannesburg, and lists Dancing, watching movies, baking and travelling as his interests. Louw will be taking part in fitness, health and sporting expo and extravaganza The B-fit n fab Expo 2015 on September 19 in Pretoria’

Singer and actress Kaylan Sabbadin, whom theatre enthusiasts might remember from the State Theatre’s Liefling – Die Musical in 2013. The 21 year old is originally from Port Elizabeth. In addition to her mezzo-soprano singing voice, she also does strength/contortion work, and plays the saxophone and piano. Sabbadin, who enjoys gym, reading, outdoor adventures and training,is due to graduate from Oakfields College at the end of this year

FNB Vita award winner and resident choreographer for Door 6 Entertainment Nicol Sheraton. Originally from Cape Town, the 33-year-old from Northriding in Johannesburg started his professional career at the age of 16. In 1999/2000 He won the Vita award for best new comer in the multi-award winning play ‘SUIP!’ Sheraton’s theatre credits include: Suip!, Giants, An African Christmas For E-Tv, Sun City Extravaganza’s – Odyssey, Afrodizzia And Too Darn Hot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago- The Musical, We Will Rock You, Janice Honeyman’s pantomimes Aladdin, Snow White And Jack And The Beanstalk, Footloose – The Musical, Fusion- A Bollywood Extravaganza, History Mj Tribute, Immaculate- The Madonna Tribute, The King And I, The Boys In The Photograph, Mamma Mia, Dreamgirls And Dance Captain In Starlight Express, and Leifling. His choreographic credits include: Mulan, The Wizard of Oz, Vintage Varga Girls Burlesque and Cabaret, Oh Golly Its Bolly, Under The Baobab Tree, Heidi, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, Aspoestertjie, Sister Act The Musical;

Pilates trainer and former gymnast Nina Botha. Botha (22) trained in ballet and gymnastics from a young age. She started training in acting and singing and after matriculating in 2011 as top Dance student in the Gauteng District, Nina decided to pursue her passion for performance at Oakfields College Faculty of Dance and Musical Theatre. During her studies, Nina has performed in Liefling: Die Musiekblyspel at the State theatre and Hot Mikado, the Musical. Under the direction of Naledi Award Winning musical director Rowan Bakker, Botha performed at the Nelson Mandela 67 Blankets Campaign Fundraiser. She also recently danced in Veronica Paeper’s epic ballet: A Spartacus of Africa, as well as the contemporary dance work J’zel which was performed at the National Arts festival this year. Nina is also a qualified Myofascial Activated Posture Pilates trainer and plans to open a Pilates and dance studio in 2016.

Musical theatre student Tamlyn Jade Watt. The 19-year-old comes from Pretoria and is currently a 1st year student at Oakfields college, where she is a dance major currently studying musical theatre. Watt participated in the Latin American Dance Championships in Blackpool, England, in 2012, and was the South African U21 Latin American Dance Champion in 2013. She also performed with the college in their production of J’zel in Grahamstown Arts festival in 2015

Fitness instructor Thokozane Mdluli (24) lives in Linden, Johaneesburg. Besides her work at a local gym, she also enjoys ice skating, painting, acting, and modelling.

Dance studio owner, teacher and choreographer Tiaan Visser from Randburg. Visser has been a professional dancer since 2008. The 23-year-old also is a talented photographer and enjoys singing, acting, dancing, writing, drawing and graphic designing.

Singer, dancer and actress Tyla Dee Nurden has appeared in various productions over the past few years, including J’Zel, Carrie, Flesh, Hot Mikado,and Liefling – Die Musical. The current NDip Musical Theatre student from Oakfield College also enjoys horse-riding, trampoline tricks, diving, hockey, squash, rollerblading, self-defence.

Former hair technician and hair and beauty salon Nonkululeko Vilakazi gave up her salon last year to pursue a career on stage. The 26-year-old, who speaks five languages – isiZulu, isiXhosa, Setswana, English, and Afrikaans – is making her dreams come true. Vilakazi also takes part in the Nkulifresh (hip-hop/rap) project, and is an ambassador and road show MY for Smooth and Shine. She also hosts workshops at the Blagora creative hub; and
Singer-songwriter Stefanie Pereira, who also was a national Junior Latin and Ballroom Champion and part of the SA Hip-Hop dance team that participated at the IDO Hip Hop World Championships in 2011 and 2012. South Africa was placed 1st overall in 2011. She also travelled to Paris in 2011 and 2012 to compete at the WDC Latin and Ballroom World Championships in 2011 and 2012. Pereira wrote the lyrics for, and is the vocalist on, a track called “Under the Sun” with Mark Stent and DJ Royal K that has been aired on 5FM. She is currently working on her Musical Theatre Grade 8 exam for next year and is also taking part in various SADTA Hip Hop dance exams to qualify as dance teacher.

Blame it on Bollywood will be staged at The Teatro at Montecasino from 6 October until 11 October. Ticket prices range from R150 to R450, and can be obtained from Computicket and the Montecasino Box Office.

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