A mega Bollywood dance show celebrating different styles of movement and dance from flamenco and salsa to kathakali and hip-hop and featuring top talent from South Africa and Britain will have its world premiere here.
Red, a brainchild of Raza Jaffrey, the original star of Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of AR Rahman's musical Bombay Dreams, will run from August 10 to September 3 this year at the Nelson Mandela Theatre in Johannesburg.
Top lighting artists, costume designers and choreographers from London have already paid several visits to South Africa to prepare for the big budget extravaganza, which will feature six dancers and two drummers from London and 11 local dancers.
The eclectic mix in the show includes flamenco, salsa and hip-hop alongside belly dance, kathakali, break dance and ballet backed by music that features singers like Asha Bhosle and Sukhvinder Singh.
Red has the feel of a festival and is all about the magic that can come from the meeting of diverse traditions," Jaffrey told IANS during a whistle-stop visit to finalise the local cast.
"The show is a highly evocative, accessible, high-energy mix of the most awe-inspiring moves, and I'm thrilled that some of South Africa's own most exciting and talented dancers and musicians will be making it happen."
The team putting it together are determined that Red will reach out to all audiences, with no requirement of an understanding of Indian culture or dance.
"Just as the audiences for Riverdance didn't have to know anything about the traditions of Ireland, our audience won't need to know anything about India. Red simply asks you to enjoy the spectacle," Jaffrey said.
But fans in Durban and other cities are in for disappointment as due to the huge costs of the special lighting and other technical requirements of the show, there will be only one run in South Africa before the show goes on a world tour.