Kareena Kapoor heads for Sun City
Kareena Kapoor is heading for Sun City next week as one of South Africa's best known promoters of American and European shows turns her hand to Bollywood.
By Fakir Hassen, IANS
Even as local Indian promoters are becoming increasingly wary of hosting shows from India featuring movie stars because of the reportedly high charges by these stars, Hazel Feldman has taken on the challenge of hosting a Bollywood show featuring leading singers and Kareena on July 24 at the Super Bowl in Sun City.
What makes the venture even more different and unusual is that Feldman -- who has been associated over many years now with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry to have visited South Africa's shores -- is a white South African woman, venturing into a territory dominated by South African Indian males.
So what drove Feldman into this area when others are beginning to shy away from Bollywood?
"I saw the burgeoning interest in Bollywood locally on television and in the mainstream media, and realised that there is a huge following for this phenomenon," Feldman told IANS.
"There has also been a global explosion of interest in Bollywood and, to me, it makes no difference if a show comes out of Bollywood, Hollywood or Europe; as long as it matches the standards we have set with our earlier shows, we will be keen to consider promoting it."
Feldman approached Sun City, where its Super Bowl has been the venue for many international events, the most noteworthy Indian one being the International Indian Film Academy Awards there three years ago.
A number of Indian films have also had scenes shot at the huge resort, which includes The Lost City, a spectacular ancient African village recreated out of the bush, with world-class luxury hotel facilities.
After Sun City gave her the nod, Feldman partnered with Mumbai-based show coordinator Abhijeet Choudhary, who has brought a number of shows here in recent years.
Last year, he organised the Bollywood Electric show featuring Akshay Kumar, Kareena, Fardeen Khan, and others in Durban. Despite being a good show, it unfortunately failed to attract a large audience. Choudhary's latest venture was with singer Sonu Nigam, who ran three packed shows in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg last month.
This time round, Abhijeet has lined up top actress Kareena as the only movie star on the bill, with leading singers Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik being the other top artists.
"The inclusion of eight dancers and seven live musicians from India, plus some comedy, would make the Sun City Spectacular a total music and dance variety show", said Feldman, who plans to use her first Bollywood venture as a learning exercise to promote cross-cultural exchange locally and abroad.
"With this interaction I certainly hope to promote local Indian artists as well, and possibly take artists from here to India and vice versa. I know that we will learn a lot from this show at Sun City," she added.
Fans of Kareena say that her main trick for the success she achieves in playing various characters on screen is that she develops each role uniquely to suit the particular film, right down to mannerisms and dress styles.
No doubt we'll see Kareena in lots of colourful costumes at Sun City, as she did when she performed during the Bollywood Live Concert at Kings Park in Durban two years ago. But then she had eight other top co-stars with her. This time round, she is the only actress on the bill.
Melody king Kumar Sanu is an old favourite among South Africans, having toured here many times before. But his absence for the past three years will allow him to thrill fans not only with his all-time hits, which are always in demand here, but also his latest songs.
The most prolific duets singers of the past decade have been Kumar Sanu and Yagnik, so South African fans are set to be treated to the best this pair have to offer.