Taj goes Bollywood – as I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended the musical extravaganza called “Taj…a timeless beauty.” Unfortunately photography was absolutely prohibited so I have no photos for you from the show. They even provide (free) lockers where you must deposit your cameras before entering the auditorium. I wish I’d thought to take pictures of the costume replicas which were for sale in the lobby – they were unbelievable – all silks and sparkly sequins in a rainbow of colors!
The show itself was fun but definitely cheesy. The performers were obviously lip syncing to a pre-existing track. Though they provided head phones so I could hear the performance in English, the Hindi (?) track that was playing live in the auditorium was so loud that it bled through. If you’ve seen a live interview with a foreign dignitary – the slightly delayed translation so the official and the translator are speaking over one another – that’s the effect through out the show. We were in the “VIP” seats – center section second row. Those were not the best seats in the house. I guarantee you the people sitting up in the balcony in the “cheaper seats” were getting a better show. As with almost any production involving dance, it’s best to not be right up next to the stage to properly see the choreography. The sets were simple but, for whatever reason, it took ages between acts for them to be changed. During these breaks you’re in darkness listening to a recorded music track. I noticed quite a few cell phones out and I can only assume people, bored as they waited for the next scene, were checking messages, texting or playing games. The story was melodramatic to the extreme. They admit at the start of the show that the story told was only “based on history” and was not to be taken literally.
Despite all of the above, the performers really gave it their all and did more than a dozen different dances. The costumes were out of this world. The best part was the finale when the dancers come out dressed to represent the different cultures of India and do dances specific to those cultures.
I absolutely recommend you see the show if in Agra. It’s well worth the time (just over an hour) and the price. You can book on line and check out details at: http://www.kalakritionline.com