IPL inaugural: A mix of Rabindra Sangeet and rap

Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) Come Tuesday, the Salt Lake Stadium here will resonate with Rabindra Sangeet and Pitbull’s rap as a medley of dancers will enthrall over a hundred thousand spectators at the inaugural ceremony of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The spectacle, that will have Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone shake a leg to chart-topping hits, will flag-off with a dance sequence by 300-odd hep and peppy high school and college students of the eastern metropolis.

The dance sequence will begin with Tagore’s ‘Aguner Poroshmani’ playing in the background as the teeny-boppers take to the arena in ‘Om’ formation, holding aloft torches.

“We will stand in the formation of the ‘Om’ symbol holding torches with ‘Aguner Poroshmoni’ being played in the background, followed by an instrumental number,” Payel Bhor, a college student from the suburb of Srirampore, told IANS.

Bhor and her co-dancer Krittika Ghosh from Konnagar in Hooghly district have been rehearsing for eight hours a day with other members of their troupe since March 22 to prepare for the ceremony, put together by Mumbai’s event management company Cineyug in collaboration with Red Chillies Entertainment (RCE). The SRK-owned RCE holds a 50 percent stake in Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Choreographed by Santosh Shetty, the torch dance sequence will be followed by a carnival where the children will showcase western steps in a variety of formations with props like tassels, flags, pom-poms and umbrellas. The jamboree will also see a cavalcade of flying drummers from Europe and stilt workers.

“The dancers have been divided into four groups and each group will hold a different prop. There will be hip-hop, jazz and other steps. This sequence will be performed to an electronic instrumental number and special lighting will be used in sync with the choreography and formations,” school student A. Paul told IANS.

For the cricketing part, captains of the nine participating teams will sign the ICC spirit of cricket pledge “Play hard, play fair” following which defending champions KKR captain Gautam Gambhir will put the trophy back into play.

Braving the rising mercury, parents of the teen performers have been camping out near the stadium office, just to see their wards step on the same stage with SRK and Katrina.

“We sit out here in the shade all day long. We have brought packed lunches and also buy food from the stalls. It is a huge effort in this heat but we will do it as it is a great honour to see our daughters and sons perform on the same stage as Shah Rukh and Katrina. We bought our own tickets as the organisers didn’t provide us with any,” Payel’s mother Alo told IANS.

As for Bhor and Ghosh, who consider themselves ‘lucky’ to have made it through the auditions March 12, it is a chance of a lifetime.

“It is a chance of a lifetime for us. We are excited to see all the stars. It doesn’t matter that we have to work so hard,” Ghosh told IANS.

The trio from Bollywood will take to the stage towards the end of the show while Pitbull will rap twice during the ceremony.

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