Lounge Loves | Chivas Studio 2011
In order to combine 1960s fashion with music, theatre and integrate it with a story, film-maker Rohan Sippy turned to writer Naresh Fernandes’ works on jazz music for inspiration, including the latter’s new book Taj Mahal Foxtrot. Sippy also wanted his Broadway musical, Love & All That Jazz, to have an Indian story and set it in Mumbai.
The next step was to get music that would move the narrative, not merely accompany it; and composer Ranjit Barot, with his vast range of experience, stepped into the project.
Love & All That Jazz is part of Chivas Studio 2011, a platform that brings together a diverse range of artists and performers. This includes Sippy’s Fashion Broadway (two shows today), an Art Foyer by artist Paresh Maity and photographer Jatin Kampani, and Art Jam—artist Brian Olsen painting live to music by Indian fusion band Mrigya (both on Sunday). The two-day show was held in Delhi on the last weekend of November and will be at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio this weekend.
At the studio on Wednesday, amid moving cranes and banging carpenters, actors Shahana Goswami, Ali Fazal and Rahul Dev rehearsed to recorded music against the backdrop of an elaborate set. On Saturday, the challenge will be different, as they will sing and dance to an eight-member live band with 14 back-up dancers.
Tuned in: Shahana Goswami sings her own songs in the musical.
“Ranjit was confident of pulling off the act to live music. I was kicked by the idea too—now we had to be honest, couldn’t hide behind recorded music and lip syncs,” says Sippy.
Terence Lewis has choreographed the 35- to 40-minute English show with a mix of dialogues and six songs, including two Hindi film classics.
The elaborate and “expensive” production also includes Twilight, the stage title used by brothers Sukhjeevan (Jimi), Gurpal (Sindbad) and Amardip (Ammo) Singh Phgura, famous for their dance to the song O Pardesi in the film Dev.D . “I just had to have them,” says Sippy of the UK-based trio.
The story is of a young man (Ali) from Goa who moves to Mumbai for a career in music but ends up falling in love with a gangster’s (Dev’s) girl (Goswami). “I have not done anything on stage before and this deals with a part of Mumbai’s history, an era when there was a lot of jazz music in Mumbai,” says Sippy. “It helps me put aside the laborious movie process and start from scratch.”
The show took about four months to come together, the intensity rising over the days leading to the Delhi performance.
Chivas Studio 2011 will be held at Mehboob Studio, Mumbai, 10-11 December. Entry is by invitation.