Seventeen-year-old Neha Sukumar, Bollywood princess in Om Shanti – Once Upon A Time in Bollywood, writes about preparing for the show, coming August 23-25 to Dell Hall.
Om Shanti – Once Upon A Time in Bollywood is Austin’s first Bollywood musical (don’t worry, it’s all in English!). It’s a story about the kingdom of Bollywood, a princess named Shanti and a dancer named Om. There are seven famous Bollywood numbers in the show, and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to act and dance in this musical as the lead role of Princess Shanti herself.
I’ve always been a dancer and a performer. Ever since I was a little girl my mother would put on some music and tell me to go dance. For hours I would dance and pretend I was the star of a Bollywood. Now, that it’s come true, it really hasn’t been all that easy. Balancing school with rehearsing got really hectic, but since summer has started, we rehearse every day! Through the summer there are theater rehearsals happening every weekday and from Friday to Sunday. More than 50 dancers are giving 110% of their energy to perfect all the Bollywood choreography!
For many of the cast members, Om Shanti is going to be their first time performing in a Bollywood style production and participating in largely South Asian cast and crew. Believe me, it’s fun. The most fascinating thing that I’ve noticed through this process is that everyone can relate to Bollywood. The music is fantastic, the dancing is engaging, the acting is dramatic, and the entire show is coming together wonderfully well. We are less than a month away from the show week, and although I’m already starting to get a bit nervous, I know it’s going to be a fabulous production that people of all ages are going to enjoy.
—Neha Sukumar, Principal Dancer in Om Shanti – Once Upon A Time in Bollywood