Bollywood Fun Facts Before You Board Taj Express
October 30, 2019
Did you know that Indian cinema is one of the world’s oldest cinemas? In honor of the upcoming Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into Bollywood’s rich history. Though Indian cinema emerged in the 1930s, the term “Bollywood” didn’t originate until the 1970s when Indian cinema overtook the Hollywood film industry in film production. “Bollywood” refers specifically to the Hindi-language film industry in the city of Mumbai, India’s entertainment capital. There are multiple regional film industries throughout India, each in different languages with the most well-known being Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, and Kannada languages. Common genres shared among these cinemas are large-scale music and dance numbers, action, comedy, romance, and melodrama, made all the more enticing by extravagant costumes set among exotic backdrops.
Like Hollywood, the success of Bollywood is based largely on star power. In 1936, Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani emerged as India’s first major movie star duo, enchanting audiences instantly. India’s fascination with Bollywood movie stars continued to grow with the emergence of more iconic Indian superstars and continues to present day. Shah Rukh Khan is currently one of the most sought-after Bollywood stars of our time, has appeared in over 80 films, and is referred to as the “King of Bollywood” or “King Khan” by the media. In 2014, the actor was honored by the British Parliament as contributing outstanding achievements in Indian cinema. The 21st century has witnessed an industry boom in Indian cinema with an estimated 1,600 feature films produced annually in all of India’s major languages and cities. With the expansion of international audiences, India is now considered one of the biggest movie producers in the world.
Taj Express follows the fictional story of a young composer Shankar, who is given the task of writing the music for his first Bollywood movie. Shankar invites the audience into his music studio to witness the process, and it’s only when he begins to follow in the footsteps of his idol, (real-life Grammy and Academy Award winner) A.R. Rahman, that he discovers his path to success. Taj Express reveals secrets of the world’s most prolific film industry and the people behind the magic of India’s factory of dreams.
Experience for yourself the vibrant, mesmerizing world of Bollywood November 9 at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax or November 15 at the Hylton Center in Manassas with Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue.