Monday, May 07, 2007

Disco Death

Busy weekend - spent Saturday and Sunday hiking in the Black Forest/Forêt Noire/Schwartzwald with twenty-odd other folk largely drawn from Amynah's institute. Much fun was had, and a proper write up will follow.

On our return yesterday afternoon, we went to see a live Bollywood-style show, (called, appropriately enough, "Bollywood") along with Strasbourg's only other Ismaili and a few of her relatives.

The show was a travelling production that aimed to bring all the melodrama, paegantry and razzle-dazzle of a typical Bollywood movie to the stage, largely through show-stopping dance numbers.

It was entertaining, though what the largely French audience made of it I can only wonder. It told the story of a girl trying to make it as a choreographer in the Indian film industry, despite the opposition of her grandfather, who wants her to focus on traditional dance, despite having been a legendary Bollywood choreographer in his own day. Needless to say, they stop speaking, he starts drinking and eventually falls on to her deathbed, thus bringing our heroine back to her home village, disillusioned with the industry and looking for her childhood love.

The show rattled though a number of latter-day Bollywood hit songs (many of which, I'm unafraid to admit, I quite enjoy) though many of these were the modern MTV influenced stuff that must have been utterly bewildering to the numerous French and German ladies who had dug actual saris and shlwar kameezes out of God knows what closets, presumably out of respect to this traditional cultural event they were about to witness.

Interestingly, the guy who played her love spoke nary a word in the whole show, prompting Amynah to speculate that he had an undisguisable Cockney accent (the show was in English). She also speculated that he earned a premium for having to perform shirtless through the whole show.

In any case, I enjoyed myself right up until the end when our heroine, having just won a major award for her choreography, dedicates a dance to her recently-departed grandfather - the one who wanted her to focus on meaningful, traditional dance. So, what song does she pick to honour his memory, and to serve as the grand finale for a show ostensibly about the superiority of the old ways? A little tune called "It's the time to disco."

Eyes still smarting from the blinding glare of a million sequins, we stumbled out into the fragrant Strasbourg night, only to discover that Sarkozy won the election. We fell asleep to the sounds of his supporters celebrating in front of the cathedral. Or his opponents forming a rebellious mob. It's hard to tell. One thing's for sure - they weren't doing no disco.

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