Dancing queens sway to classics

Dancing queens sway to classics

An enchanting afternoon of music and dance awaited one and all as the Toccata Musical Productions Northern Ireland presented ‘Nostalgia’ at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall over the weekend. The proceeds from the event went to Reaching Hand, an NGO that supports underprivileged children.

The singers took the audience back in time as they presented a number of classic English songs as well some compositions of their own. The programme started with a bang with Bee Gees’ ‘Staying Alive’, which had dancers dressed in gold and black moving effortlessly on stage in coordination as they threw their hats around.

This was followed by a slower ballad called ‘In The Arms Of An Angel’ which was supported by a beautiful ballet by a dancer in white.

The next song was the peppy ‘I’m a Believer’ that had everyone grooving. To add a touch of Indian-ness to the show, the group presented the classic Kishore Kumar’s song Dilbar Mere Kab Tak Mujhe in their style, leaving everyone amazed with their perfect accent.

This was followed by the best classics like ‘Country Roads’,  ‘River of Dreams’, ‘Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Danny Boy’, ‘You Raise Me Up’, ‘Desperado’,  ‘All Out Of Love’ and ‘Ebony and Ivory’. Four African singers from the group presented Malaika, a song about a young man in Kenya who is unable to get the girl of his dreams due to the dowry involved, ala Boney M. 

The ‘Jailhouse Rock’ performance was one of the most entertaining ones with a group of impeccable dancers performing a wedding with the priest catching the bouquet thrown by the bride! This left the audience in splits.

“We all travel a long distance and come to a strange land to change lives through music,” said Dr Sunil Paulraj, a doctor who is the founder of Toccata, as the show came to an end.

A number of school students also exhibited their talent as they performed some of the songs with the group. A medley of ‘We are the World’ and ‘Heal the World’, which was the last song for the evening, was one of them.

The students walked through the aisles of the auditorium holding candles and joined the troupe on stage. They were delighted to be performing at a show like this. “It was so exciting to perform here. We were motivated not only because we were singing but also because we were helping the poor. Working with so many international artistes was a new experience altogether,” said Rithu, a student of class nine from Ryan International School.

Her friend Akshitha added, “We used to perform after school hours.” For Alfredo, one of the guitarists, the experience was enlightening. “I am from Venezuela and it’s my first time here. It was a really brilliant and lovely experience in India.”

 The performers got a standing ovation from the audience in the end and on the request of an encore, presented Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’, leaving everyone asking for more! The event was supported by Strides Foundation and British Council and featured top West-End Soloists and UN recognised Toccata chorus, band dancers and orchestra.

Toccata Musical Productions is also presenting ‘Musical Express’, a Broadway-themed musical and dance extravaganza, at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall on August 5 and 6 at 7 pm. The tickets are available at www.bookmyshow.com.

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