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Limelight

Burning bright

An unlikely pair will take centre stage at the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos — an Indian choreographer and a tiger. Er, unfortunately, it won’t be a real tiger softly padding around the carpeted corridors of the august summit. Rather, it will be model Jesse Randhawa who’ll masquerade as a tigress while husband and choreographer Sandip Soparrkar champions the cause of the big cats with a 10-minute dance item highlighting their beauty and grace and the dangers they face from poachers. Given that saving tigers has become the “it” cause among celebs these days, Soparrkar and Randhawa are sure to find lots of international A-listers at chilly Davos warming to their message. From brrr to grrr, shall we say?

Disco days

You can take the Eighties out of disco, but you can’t take disco out of the Eighties. So when playwright Anuvab Pal got a call from his publisher about writing a book on a seminal Indian film, he suggested Disco Dancer — the Mithun Chakrabarty-starrer of the Eighties that critics have over the years voted as one of the worst films ever. It’s another matter that the film was a superhit. According to Pal, his book Disco Dancer, published by Harper Collins, is part screenplay, part interviews and some analysis. It tries to understand, says Pal, what it was about this film that drove the people of Osaka in Japan to build a statue for Jimmy (Chakrabarty’s character in the film), the Russians to go into raptures over it, and “for millions from Dubai to San Francisco to know only this movie when anyone mentioned Bollywood.” It’s the disco, stupid.

Fit cause

What’s the social network for, if it can’t promote the cause of social work? Take Bollywood’s fitness guru Mickey Mehta who’s hit upon a novel way to contribute to society. Mehta is coming to the aid of down-at-heel social workers and sundry do-gooders who haven’t been able to do enough good owing to inadequate funds and other problems by promoting their cause on his official Facebook page. With a 24,000-strong fan base, Mehta’s page brings the cause to the notice of other users who either volunteer to work for it personally or help out in other ways. For Mehta all this is clearly in the fitness of things.

Rising star

Debutante Vishakha Singh must be overjoyed. After all, it’s not every day that a newcomer makes it to the list of top 10 actors of the year. Singh, who played a character role in Ashutosh Gowariker’s film Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se, has not only got a nomination for the “best breakthrough performance of the year” at the Startdust Awards, but she’s also been inducted in the list top 10 actors of 2010. Drawn up by film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh, the list also includes stars like Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan, Neetu Singh and Anushka Sharma. Clearly, though Gowarikar’s film sank without a trace, it did throw up some promising new talent. Way to go, Vishakha!

Fusion fare

Call it a happy fusion. Or a felicitous north-south dialogue. Dancer and choreographer Geeta Chandran has decided to meld the south Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam with lyrics from the works of such poets as Tulsidas, Surdas, Mirabai, Vidyapati, Kabir and others — all of whom wrote in different dialects of Hindi. This is, of course, a bold departure from tradition as Bharatanatyam uses lyrics in Tamil and Telugu. Chandran will present her pioneering performance on January 28 at Hindi Bhavan in Delhi. “The classical engages me completely because of its ability to be itself despite changing some parametres. In this performance I have chosen to embrace a different language,” she says. Well, Chandran seems to know that the language of art — no matter how “different” — is always universal.

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