The Company’s First Performance: Dancing with Shah Rukh Khan
(July 3rd, 2009)
Soon after his arrival in the Bay Area, an announcement was made for an event at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose where SRK would meet and greet his fans in a very personal, banquet-style setting. Little did we imagine, that we would be invited to perform; but there we were, booked for our VERY FIRST gig at a high-profile event with the KING of Bollyood himself!
The next few days were unreal. We had one week to put together a MIND BLASTING act to honor King Khan. But we set out to do what we know best: DANCE.
We arranged an incredible medley of music and dialogue, selecting epic songs from SRK’s movies. The medley itself was a driving force but TREMENDOUS work lay ahead. Over the next week, we worked endlessly to prepare something that would truly capture the essence of Shah Rukh Khan. We incorporated different dance styles, moods and props and prepared a 9-minute piece. Sweat, toil, seemingly endless rehearsals and numerous bottles of Gatorade later…we finally had our SRK medley!
Then our costumes arrived and we realized that we had to wear heels. It was immaterial that we were expected to jump on tables, run from position to position, fall on the floor and basically tear apart the stage. Blisters followed soreness; but the dancing continued.
Finally THE DAY arrived. We went to the Fairmont for the technical rehearsal and we got ready right after. Then began the waiting game. SRK was supposed to arrive at 8pm, but didn’t arrive till 10:30pm. Meanwhile we waited in the room, the backstage corridor, the room again, the backstage corridor again and finally in a kitchen off of the banquet room. All this while were were in 3-inch high heels and curled hair continually kept in place with half a bottle of hair spray. All this while, we were a bit disappointed about not being able to see his impending entrance, where the fans were milling to greet him. Luck was on our side though, and at 11:05pm, SRK walked in, not through the red carpet entrance, but THROUGH THE KITCHEN.
After a quick picture with him (which left us speechless!) – it was show time. We began dancing.
SRK pulled his chair closer as dialogues and soundtracks enmeshed. He pulled his chair even closer when “Don” played. And closer, smiling now, as “Ye Kaali Kaali Ankhen” blared through the sound system. Finally he stood up on his stage and started walking towards us. There was confusion, commotion, CHAOS! Security restrained people, asked SRK to stay put, throngs of people surged forward and us? We danced! And Then. There was Shah Rukh, in front of us, on the dance floor, as waves of people rose and fell around him. He rocked with us, until the crazed fans enveloped the stage and security had to lead him away. But those few moments when we danced for him and then with him, justified EVERYTHING.
It was incredible to share our passion with him, and see him affected by our performance. We were told that it was highly unlikely for him to join us on the dance floor, due to his injured shoulder; but there he was, doing “Dard-e-disco” right in the middle of our dancers!
It was an incredible first performance for our company. We can never forget how despite protests by the security, and the mob of fans, SRK couldn’t help joining us on stage. What greater compliment can there be?