Ever wonder exactly what Bollywood means?
Bollywood 101, making its debut on the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship stage Saturday, June, 18 at 7 p.m., offers a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge and appreciation of Indian culture.
The brainchild of Pratik Mamtora, who was born and raised in India, Bollywood 101 seeks to educate audiences about Indian Film Industry, Hindi Cinema and South-Asian aesthetics, while keeping participants entertained and engaged throughout the evening.
Mamtora, who moved to the U.S. in 2007 to get his master's degree, said he has always had a passion for theater. In 2009, he shared a reflection piece about his childhood memories for a Diwali Service and performed a semi-classical Indian dance for a Sunday Service in 2010.
"Since then, fellow congregants have been keen to learn more about Indian culture, dance and food. To feed everyone's curiosity we have organized this event," the 30-year old said.
In addition to an evening of high energy, refreshments and music, Mamtora said audiences can look forward to dancing to Oscar-winning 'Slumdog Millionaire's' song "Jai Ho."
"We will teach a basic choreography to the entire audience," Mamtora said. "There will be other delightful performances that the audience will find incredible."
Mamtora said the program will trace Bollywood (the Hindi Film Industry of India) from Sanskrit roots of dramaturgy. Bharatamuni's book "Natyashashtra" will also be discussed, focusing on the Rasa Theory.
"We will show movie clips, provide information on different genres of films through visual aids, dance performances, and live entertainment. No entire movie will be shown at this event," Mamtora said. For those wishing to see more films, Mamtora has put together a list that the audience will be able to take home with them.
"Pratik has really been the driving force of this collaboration from day one. He approached me months ago with combining our teams' efforts and this artistic extravaganza is the result. We hope to fill the house," said Avianca Boucedid, chair of the Fellowship's fundraising committee.
"MUF members are very creative and expressive in all genres of art," said Mamtora, who looks forward to pursuing a doctorate degree in literature and film studies. "MUF used to have a theater group in the past. I suggested the idea of having a new theater group to our minister, Rev. Alison Miller and the Board. My idea was to maximize fellow-congregants' interests and utilize the auditorium space. Hence, ‘Show More Drama’–MUF’s Theatre Club came into existence.
Bouchedid said proceeds from the event will benefit MUF's operating budget and 'Show More Drama's' future projects equally. Mamtora operates the theater club on first and third Wednesdays of the month from 5 to 7 p.m.
"We plan to put up George Bernard Shaw's 'Candida' in fall of 2011," he said.
Refreshments at Bollywood 101 will include a selection of Indian delicacies like Samosa, Bhajia, Bhel and Khakhara.
For more info about the club and its activities, visit www.muuf.org. Tickets for Bollywood 101 are $15 in advance and $20 at door; children and young adults, 16 and under are $5.