Joined: 26 July 2007
Game plan for glam gala
|The opening of IPL-6 is billed to be the 'greatest show ever' in India. Metro takes you through the plans, as they stood on Sunday night, so you know what to expect|
The one-hour-45-minute show has been divided into six segments
ACT 1: POETRY IN MOTION
' A diya is lit as Shah Rukh Khan's voice provides the backdrop, reciting Tagore:"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high / Where knowledge is free / Where the world has not been broken up into fragments / By narrow domestic walls / Where words come out from the depth of truth'"
' 300 dancers perform on a track composed by Bollywood composer (and Presidencian) Pritam especially for the show. Shah Rukh's voice was recorded in Mumbai on Sunday and the dancers in Calcutta are busy rehearsing at the stadium.
The Moranis of Cineyug, a company synonymous with the glitziest Bollywood shows, is helping Red Chillies Entertainment organise Tuesday's gala and they say SRK wants to make it big. "Shah Rukh saab is taking personal interest because he is Bengal's brand ambassador and this is the city of the Knight Riders. He wants to give Calcutta a fantastic show," says Mohammed Morani, who is camping in the city with brother Karim. "This will be the greatest show ever in India," Mohammed adds.
ACT 2: FLYING DRUMMERS
' Hundreds of flying drummers and stilt-walkers roll in; a whirlwind of dance and acrobatics follow.
"We will portray the IPL universe through a carnival where cheerleaders, gymnasts, rhythm acrobats, stilt-walkers, air-tumblers and mass dancers will all come together on the ground while the flying drummers from Europe strike up a furious beat," says a member of the creative team.
Around 120 performers are coming from across the world to join Indian dancers. Among them are 19 Red Poppy artistes, a band of women percussionists from China.
ACT 3: IPL UNIVERSE
' A huge balloon with the IPL logo goes up and connects with nine balloons representing the teams in the competition.
' On the ground, 400 dancers set the stage for the grand reunion up above.
The dais is set with its back to the dugout from where footballers emerge for a derby. Spectators occupy the half of the stadium facing the stage.
ACT 4: SPIRIT OF CRICKET
' Nine captains sign the ICC spirit of cricket pledge: Play hard, Play fair.
' KKR captain Gautam Gambhir puts the trophy back in play.
' The best moments of the past five years are played out on giant balls.
' 300 dancers make their moves.
The skippers of all the IPL teams will attend the inauguration; and the full teams of KKR and Delhi Daredevils, which face off on Wednesday.
Will SRK have some fun with the cricketers? The Moranis are unwilling to reveal all their cards.
ACT 5: BOLLYWOOD
' SRK arrives, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone in his arms, and performs to a medley of Bollywood chart-toppers.
All three have solo segments. Katrina will perform to a pastiche of her hits ' Sheila ki jawani, Chikni chameli, Zara zara touch me.' Deepika will dance to her hits fromCocktail. And SRK will have a longish spell from Deewangi deewangi and Main hoon nato Chammak challo.
ACT 6: PITBULL
' Performs for 12 minutes.
"He (the American rapper) is big. But when we approached him, he was thrilled to be on the same stage as the biggest of Bollywood stars," says Morani. IPL is now internationally renowned as the second-richest sports tourney after NBA, he adds.
' Everyone gathers for one final spectacle: 800 people on the ground. Fireworks go off.
' Pitbull comes back for a 20-minute performance, exclusively for the stadium audience.
"The extra half hour is Pitbull's gift to Calcutta," Morani says. The organisers are keeping their fingers crossed for some impromptu fireworks when Pitbull meets SRK on stage.
PS: Soccer fans (and players) may rest easy. Morani says the turf is well protected. "An international team has covered the artificial grass with a three-layered carpet, as is done in major sporting events."
Keep an eye on the sky, Team SRK
Things aren't very bright if the Met office gets it right. The forecast says thunderstorms are likely after sundown over the next two-three days. "This is the season when evenings are prone to thunderstorms. On top of that, there is a trough of low pressure from the Northeast to Odisha, which is causing heavy moisture incursion," says G.C. Debnath, the weather office director at Alipore.
There's no word yet on what sort of rain it could be. "That we can predict only on the morning of a particular day," Debnath says. Fingers are crossed for the brewing thunderstorm to melt into thin air ' or to just spare the Salt Lake stadium. "Thunderstorms during this season can be very localised. It may so happen that it rains in Alipore but not Salt Lake," said a senior weather scientist.
KKR's opener in IPL-5 was reduced by rain to five-overs-a-side. Delhi was the opponent in that match on April 5.
Shah Rukh Khan singing Main hoon na.
Pitbull not singing Rain Over Me.
A PEEP TO FIND OUT WHAT IT IS LIKE BEHIND THE CURTAINS
ROOMS: A row of 14 makeshift rooms labelled 'dress', 'ironing', 'costumes', 'free room', has been set up in the stands behind the main stage. The costume room is stacked with boxes flown in from Mumbai. The ironing room has rows of long boards, which tell what it takes to make thousands of pieces of costume show-ready. Officials walk in and out with Excel sheets in hand. At the end of the row of rooms is a food corner.
MEAL ROSTER: There are three separate rosters for lunch, tea and dinner for the Red Chillies team. Their caterer: BijoliGrill. Separate blocks of tables have been arranged under the galleries for Red Chillies executives, Bollywood dancers and the foreign contingent. Lunch is between 12.30pm and 1.30pm and dinner is served from 8.30pm to 11.30pm. There's tea at 4.30pm. The backroom office has stacks of mineral water free for the executives with separate provisions for tea and coffee.
MOM'S CORNER: Over 300 schoolchildren practise in the afternoons for over three hours. Everyone has been provided a hand-band so they can avoid interrogation by the security guards while entering the restricted zone. Wide-eyed mothers seated in the gallery near the stage soak up the sneak preview as a choreographer instructs their children.
TEAM WORK: There are at least seven different teams working overtime, including one looking after food coupons and one supervising the transportation of the team members from the production office in Salt Lake stadium to a hotel nearby.
LIGHTS: Tens of high-voltage spotlights have been arranged in a line, facing the stage, some 20 feet away. "These would rotate, throwing up beams and creating a magical effect on stage," says a member of the light control unit. From Bengal's favourite poet to Pitbull, an international light expert will be in charge. "Sharp rays of red accompanied by drumbeats and the sound of conch shells will lead to Aguner parashmani," says an official.
SOUND: The music will reverberate not just in the galleries but also the roads lining the ground thanks to sound boxes that line the perimeter of the stadium.
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