Stories

“Aladdin” – The Bollywood Chapter

A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I’ll chase them anywhere…

… That’s how I feel about my own Aladdin journey, which has been nothing short of magical!

The first time Tricia and I spoke at length about her vision for a grand Bollywood dance finale, I looked at her with a mix of gratitude and disbelief. About a year or so ago, in a moment of stillness, I had set an intention to choreograph the finale of a (yet-to-be-determined) ballet-school recital.

Now, here I was, roped in as the Bollywood dance choreographer for the finale of Tricia Sloan Dance Center’s (TSDC) brand new show, “Aladdin – The Ballet”!

The universe does conspire in magically beautiful ways…

As I listened to various soundtracks over the next few days the music of the Bollywood classic “Dhoom Taana” felt just right! The first time I reviewed the music with her, along with an outline of how I envisioned the sets for each character groupings, Tricia had a big smile and tears in her eyes.

As an artist you recognize these moments of passion and connection. Our vision was now aligned 🙂

Over the next few days I worked on creating the Bollywood dance choreography with a better understanding of the full ensemble cast of about 130 dancers!

Teaching the choreography was pure joy. The entire TSDC family embraced the idea of this Bollywood dance finale with hearts wide open! The students, who have been honing their craft for years, stepped into their Bollywood dance routines with grace, ease, and a lot of smiles 🙂
Here are some moments from our Bollywood dance sessions.

 

We incorporated various storytelling aspects to showcase different characters. Kudos to the students playing Abu and Iago for keeping their playful enmity alive in their Bollywood dance routine. They added a lightness that was only rivaled by the Sultan when he broke out into his signature Bollywood dance moves! 🙂

Abu-Iago
Frenemies: Abu and Iago during the first show

 

Then there was the case of the Magic Carpet. Now, I’ll admit to being VERY impressed with anybody who can do an Aerial Cartwheel! So when I caught the first one of these out of the corner of my eye I gasped audibly (totally not meaning to!) and knew instantly that we just HAD to incorporate those into our Bollywood dance routine! 🙂

Magic Carpet
My daughter and I with the ‘Magic Carpet’ (she was amazing on stage!) after the maiden performance on Oct 12, 2019

A big shout out to the TSDC faculty members Kristin Phalines and Sam Iraldi who helped co-create the acro pieces of our Bollywood dance routine. While I had the vision for the storyboard, I relied on their expertise to fill out the specifics. Thank you! 🙂

 

Girls-Bollywood
One of the groups during their Bollywood dance performance on stage

 

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky
A whole new world!

Congratulations to the entire TSDC family on the success of your brand new show! 

It was a vibrant spectacle with carefully curated music and dance routines. A treat to watch, each and every piece of the 1.5 hour long show felt complete and powerful on it’s own, and together it told the tale of Aladdin and Jasmine beautifully!

Here are some images from the show (before the Bollywood dance finale)


The most rewarding part of my Aladdin journey has been the outpouring of JOY and love from the entire TSDC family – students, staff, and families!

From conception, to the dance instruction, to the post-show conversations both in-person and beyond, it gives me so much joy to see how much FUN everybody had with the Bollywood dance piece!

It is truly humbling to have such accomplished professionals such as Tim (Aladdin) and Micah (Genie) share with you how much FUN they had with their Bollywood dance moves! 🙂

To Tricia, the entire Sloan family, all the student dancers, professionals, and TSDC faculty: I’m so grateful for the opportunity to choreograph and teach your first ensemble cast Bollywood dance number! ❤️

In all my interactions I have witnessed a strong culture of respect and kindness at TSDC and I am thrilled to be a part of the family now 🙂 As my TSDC journey continues, I look forward to expanding my horizons further and learning from you. 

 

Tim, you are a Disney prince in my books already! 🙂 Thank you for your thoughtful gift of the elephant pin. It will always be a reminder of this magical ride!

Amy Kline, I’ll forever remain grateful for this beautiful connection.

Namaste 🙂


A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you

 

*Photo Credits for all stage performance shots: Lisa Gianvito Sharp

#Joy #CelebrateLife #AladdinTheBallet #BollywoodDancing #TriciaSloan #TrySomethingNew #BringingPeopleTogether #Diversity #MakingMemories

**More pictures and videos coming soon! Check back for updates 🙂

 

1 thought on ““Aladdin” – The Bollywood Chapter”

  1. My daughter was on the fence about joining the Aladdin cast when it was announced due to having a fall sport. However, when the Bollywood finale was announce- for me I knew I wanted her to do this!!! What a great opportunity for her to learn a new dance an embrace a culture that was close to my heart! I was grateful that she felt the same and we both have no regrets! It was truly an “indescribable feeling” on this “magic carpet ride” from the beginning to the premier of the production. What a gift you are to the TSDC family ♥️.

    Like

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