Dance has been an integral part of Indian cinema for as long as anyone can recall, one cog of a trio of elements — timeless music and romance being the other two — that have thrilled fans, particularly of Bollywood, for more than a century.
This March, one of Bollywood’s most prolific choreographers, and filmmakers, is set to thrill audiences in London when she holds filmmaking and choreography masterclasses as part of the London Asian Film Festival 2015 (LAFF).
The multi-talented Farah Khan, director of the 2014 smash hit ‘Happy New Year’ will hold a choreography workshop and take part in a fun ‘Bollywood Razzmatazz’ at a special screening of her 2007 blockbuster romance ‘Om Shanti Om’ in Central London on day one.
The second date will feature a directing and filmmaking masterclass.
During her master class Khan will shed light on her remarkable Bollywood journey – from a self-taught dancer to becoming one of Bollywood’s most sought-after choreographers and the director behind such evergreen romances as ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Main Hoon Na’, not to mention innumerable appearances on TV from ‘Dance India Dance’ to hosting ‘Bigg Boss’, the Indian version of Big Brother.
The day after her master class, Farah will lead fans at the Princes Charles Theatre in Leicester Square in a sing-and-dance-along in a first for the London Asian Film Festival, Europe’s oldest showcase for South Asian cinema.
Dr Pushpinder Choudhary, Festival Director said: “We’re honoured to have Farah Khan as our chief guest this year at our 17th programme. She’s a true role model for female film makers, in this macho centric world of cinema, she’s had phenomenal success in directing blockbuster Bollywood movies that entertain the masses with quality story telling”.
Farah is said to have been inspired to teach herself dance after watching the ground-breaking music video to the Michael Jackson super hit ‘Thriller’.
She would later go on to set up her own dance troupe before entering the movie business, working on the Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’ way back in 1992.
Farah has not looked back since and despite being one of a handful of women in a male-dominated industry, she has established herself as one of the most sought-after choreographers in the business.
Among her credits are such iconic films as ‘Khabi Haan Khabi Naa’, ‘1942: A Love Story’, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, ‘Dil Se’, ‘Sarfarosh’, ‘Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Koi Mil Gaya’, ‘Paheli’, ‘Bluffmaster’, ‘Dostana’, ‘Dabbangg’ and countless others.
She has made her mark outside Indian cinema as well, not least with the Broadway and West End smash ‘Bombay Dreams’ where her work was nominated for a Tony award, as well as ‘Vanity Fair’, Mira Nair’s lavish big-screen adaptation of the literary classic.
Farah’s appearance in London is part of a packed programme for this year’s 17th edition of the London Asian Film Festival, organized by Tongues on Fire.
After a hugely successful 2014, LAFF returns with a cutting edge and entertaining roster of films and special events to thrill fans of South Asian cinema in London between 19th – 29th March 2015.
In keeping with the ethos of Tongues on Fire, the 2015 edition will be built around the theme of ‘The Power of Women’ which will be reflected in this year’s roster of special guests.
Tickets for the masterclasses and the film festival will be available on the Tongues on Fire website from 24th February.