Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Latest Gig

A departure from making top-grossing Bollywood flicks like Hum Dil De
Chuke Sanam and Devdas, Sanjay Leela Bhansali the popular Bollywood
filmmaker has a new gig, he is now the director of "Padmavati" a Paris

An excerpt from the International Herald Tribune --
As the rousing overture reaches its operatic climax, the curtains part
and Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god, descends from the rafters.

"Padmavati," currently playing at Paris' gilded Theatre du Chatelet,
is not your typical operatic fare. It's equal parts straight-laced
European opera and Bollywood blowout, with a cast that includes a top
French mezzo-soprano, scores of classical Indian dancers and a live

The director is hit Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, whose
pathos-filled 2002 musical "Devdas" became a crossover international
blockbuster and made him hot Bollywood property.

"Padmavati," the revival of a long-neglected French ballet-cum-opera
from 1923, is Bhansali's first foray into the rarified world of opera
— which he had rarely listened to before beginning work on the

"There was an e-mail that came (proposing the project) and I thought
somebody was joking," said Bhansali, speaking in his dressing room at
the theater. "I though 'Opera? An Indian director? What are they
talking about? Somebody's playing a prank.'"

But then he started listening to the score — written by sailor and
composer Albert Roussel after a 1909 trip to South Asia and based on
the legend of a 13th century queen who chooses death over surrender.

Soon, Bhansali warmed to the idea. "It was the chance to come to
stage, an unknown discipline, and unfold Indian history."

Read the full article at--

No comments: