When African jazz artiste Angelique Kidjo performed at the Tata Theatre on Friday, the audience reacted in a way almost never seen in concerts at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) — by the end of the show, most of the audience left their seats and poured right on to the stage to shake a leg with the singer.
Kidjo, a Grammy-award winner from the small African nation of Benin, charmed everyone from young children to elderly men and women when walked up and down the theatre aisles to shake hands with them.
“When she returned to the stage, the audience could not resist her invitation to them to join her, and nearly 70 people ended up packing the platform,” said Vivek Ramakrishnan, a Colaba resident whose seven-year-old daughter stole the show when Kidjo saw her dancing in her seat, hugged her and pulled her onto the stage.
“I went expecting a good concert from an internationally renowned artiste, but did not imagine that we would be dancing with her for 30 minutes after the show,” added Ramakrishnan, who said Mumbai needs more such concerts.
Several audience members who are regulars at the NCPA were surprised by the electric atmosphere in the theatre.
“Concerts at the NCPA are always fun, but a bit staid. This one was full of energy and enthusiasm,” said media professional Sandhya S, who claimed that Kidjo drew a motley crowd of doctors, bankers, youth and educationists on to the stage.
Rahul Akerkar, a chef of a popular city restaurant, said that besides Kidjo’s foot-stomping music, it was her message of love and harmony between fellow humans that thrilled the audience.
“When she pulled people on the stage with her, it showed that she actually lives the message she believes in,” he said.