Showbiz / “Taj Express” Lead Choreographer Rajitdev Easwardas Wants You To Get Ready To Dance At His Show

“Taj Express” Lead Choreographer Rajitdev Easwardas Wants You To Get Ready To Dance At His Show

Showbiz Nov 11, 2019

With his latest musical set to light up the stage in Toronto on November 23rd for an exclusive week-long run, we had a chance to sit down with one of the lead actors of Taj Express, Rajitdev Easwardas who shared with us his love for dance, Bollywood and how magic can happen even if you don’t win the top prize. Get your tickets here

Taj Express is gearing up for their last North American stop in Toronto at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, starting on November 23rd through December 1st, 2019. With an incredible soundtrack by Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman, Taj Express is billed as a glitzy musical revue that celebrates all there is about Bollywood. Directed by Shruti Merchant boasting a cast of 24: including 18 dancers, three actors and three musicians Taj Express is ready to take the audiences on a remarkable theatrical musical journey.

The incredible cast. Photo Credit: Taj Express

During rehearsals we had a chance to chat with Rajitdev Easwardas who plays Arjun in the show. Rajitdev started dancing at the age of 18 and it was by winning the semi-finalist spot on India’s hit dance show Just Dance that was judged by Hrithik Roshan is where he got his big break. Since then, he has worked with various directors including noted director Farah Khan, singer Ganesh Hegde and choreographer Bosco Ceaser. He’s toured around the world in Merchants of Bollywood: The Musical and has performed in more than 1000 shows.

Currently he’s working as the chief choreographer for Vaibhavi Merchant one of the top young choreographers in Bollywood.  Rajitdev has clocked in 15 years working in the Bollywood industry and has worked on such Bollywood hits as Dhoom 3, Jab Tak Hain Jaan, and Ek Tha Tiger working with such iconic stars such Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Anuskha Sharma, Katrina Kaif and yes even Hrithik Roshan among many others.

Taj Express
Rajitdev Easwardas stars as Arjun in Taj Express. Photo Credit: Taj Express

For three years he’s been working as the celebrity choreographer for the Indian version of Dancing With The Stars, Jhalak Dikhlaja for three years along with Karishma Tanna, Pooja Banerjee and Kavita Kaushik.

As Arjun in Taj Express he’s a choreographer who teaches meaning and value through classical dance to Mumbai’s street children.

Hina P. Ansari: Congrats on your role in Taj Express. Did you audition for the role? 

Rajitdev Easwardas: We were auditioning for dancers for this role and there was a dance sequence which was choreographed by me. After all the dancers left from the audition, two of the dancers from the current show and me just performed it. As our director Shruti Merchant was sitting there,  she saw me dancing that sequence and just asked me ‘why don’t you do the lead role of character Arjun?’. I didn’t take it seriously but she was serious. Later, I said a yes because stage is my first love. I feel blessed.

Taj Express
Beautiful dancing at Taj Express. Photo Credit: Taj Express

HPA: Tell me about your character Arjun in Taj Express

RE: Arjun lives in the streets of Mumbai and takes care of the poor children from gangs and thieves. Dance is his life, he teaches kids the Dance of God’s to keep them away from the gangs. He has a past which gets revealed in the show.

HPA: What was the rehearsal process? Was there a long rehearsal time before you’ve finalized the show? 

RE: The rehearsals for this America/Canada 2019 tour was for a month. The rehearsal time would be 12 hours a day.

HPA: What can audiences expect from the Taj Express

RE: Bollywood is all about music and dance. This show is definitely a roller coaster ride. It will make every audience member feel that they are on stage with us and are a part of a movie. I suggest everyone should get their dancing shoes because by the end of the show they would be dancing in front of  their seats.

The stunning stage presence from the cast of Taj Express. Photo Credit: Taj Express

HPA: How many performers are there in the show? 

RE: The total cast is 24 which includes 18 dancers, three actors and three musicians.

HPA: One of Bollywood’s hottest young choreographers Vaibhavi Merchant has choreographed the show, can you tell us your experience working with her? 

RE: Vaibhavi is undoubtedly the best choreographer Bollywood has. Her work is absolutely brilliant. I am fortunate enough to be her assistant and have worked in detail on all the choreography. In fact, I have choreographed some of songs in this show. Thanks to Vaibhavi Merchant and Shruti Merchant for giving me the opportunity.

HPA: Music always plays a huge role in our dance. With A R Rahman’s composition, please tell us about the music that will be featured in the show? 

RE: I’ve been a huge fan of Mr A R Rahman.  Dancing to his songs is divine. We have the international hit track “Jai Ho”, “Chaiya Chaiya”,  “Humma Humma” , “Oh Saya” and “Tu Hi Re”. The show also has original composition by Salim-Sulaiman and Abhijit Vagahani. Latest Bollywood hit tracks incuding “Ankh Maare”, “Ram Leela”, “Ghar Move Pardesiya”, “Chamak Challo , “Chill”, “Wakhra Swag”. etc.

HPA: Is this the only Canadian stop or are you touring elsewhere in Canada? What other countries are part of the tour circuit? 

RE: We started in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, then toured the USA and are ending in Canada with Montreal and Toronto. Toronto would be our last stop for this tour.

The cast of Taj Express. Photo Credit: Taj Express

HPA: Are there any other plans beyond Toronto for Taj Express

RE: As of now I don’t have that information but I’m sure the show is doing so well that next tour lineup will come  as soon as we hit Mumbai.

HPA: What advice would you give to those looking to purse a professional career in dance? 

RE: I am living my dream as a professional dancer. I started traveling around the world when I was 18 years old because of dancing and still continue to do so. But it’s not easy as it looks. Taking up dancing as profession you need to work really hard. There’s rigorous training. The number of hours of practice, patience and being consistent. But in the end when you dance and see the audience applauding and appreciating your talent. It’s all worth it. “I keep on dancing and and dancing because there is only dance” -Michael Jackson.

Taj Express runs at the Toronto’s St. Lawrence Theatre for the Arts from November 23 through December 1st. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.ca 

 

Main Image Photo Credit: Taj Express 

 

 

 

Hina P. Ansari

Hina P. Ansari

Author

Hina P. Ansari is a graduate from The University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario). Since then she has carved a successful career in Canada's national fashion-publishing world as the Entertainment/Photo Editor at FLARE Magazine, Canada's national fashion magazine. She was the first South Asian in...

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