A full Bollywood experience

Left to right are Lorishka Hoopdeo, Kaylee Singh, Kamara Naidoo, Priya Reddy and Shanay Paideya.

Left to right are Lorishka Hoopdeo, Kaylee Singh, Kamara Naidoo, Priya Reddy and Shanay Paideya.

Published Jul 13, 2022


Mahila, Queens of Bollywood is to be staged at the Playhouse at the weekend.

The production, by Rudra Dance Company, reflects on the female stars of the industry over generations. It traces the history of the world’s largest film industry and the female contribution to it – on and off-screen.

Pavishen Paideya, who leads the creative team, said prior to their stardom these women were co-stars to popular male lead actors, but this had changed and was worth honouring.

“In recent years, females have been given bigger and more important roles, even the leading roles in films. So it’s a major highlight in their careers as they have come a long way.”

From front are: Kaylee Singh, Priya Reddy and Lorishka Hoodeo who star in Mahila, Queens of Bollywood. Picture: Supplied

The focus of the production is not only on the glitz and glam side of the industry but it also unpacks the rich history of Bollywood.

“Our MC, Keshav Dass, is a former dancer and a radio presenter at Hindvani. He has put together a script that encompasses the beginning of the actors or stars’ journeys, where they come from, their background, training, and how they have developed from choreographers into directors, from stage actresses to movie actresses, or from TV series into film.

“The cast of about 30 includes professional dancers and students. The dance genres include Bollywood, Kathak and Bharatanatyam. There’s also some jazz, hip-hop, Indian folk dance and Spanish flamenco and tap dance.”

From left are: Pavishen Paideya and Cameron Govender in Mahila, Queens of Bollywood. Picture: Supplied

Paideya said the production started in 2020 and was initially planned to be staged in April that year, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic they had to cancel two weeks before the staging.

“Transforming from live performance onto virtual and digital platforms during the lockdowns and captivating audiences on those platforms has been a challenge. Most people would rather go to a function than sit at home and watch a function. With restrictions, like a 50% venue capacity, it was also not profitable to hire a venue and put a production together.

“Slowly this has changed and we have been lucky that a lot of the restrictions have been lifted and function venues have opened. Most people are aware that the arts and entertainment industry suffered during the pandemic, so it’s important now to show support for local artists and our productions. It really means a lot, above all, it is a means to keep the culture, the arts and dance theatre alive.”

The show will stage at the Playhouse Drama Theatre on July 16 at 2pm and 6pm. Tickets are R150 via www.webtickets.co.za


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