Intermittently impressive Hooray for Bollywood improved by hilarious host

Traditional Indian dance and costumes were presented in Wadsworth Auditorium Saturday evening during the Limelight and Accents show "Hooray for Bollywood."

The performance featured multiple dance numbers mixing Indian culture with hip-hop, disco and even acrobatics. Several numbers were remarkably impressive, but at times the show became repetitive and predictable.

West coast comedian Samson Koletkar unexpectedly hosted the show, providing an enjoyable degree of levity and a personable atmosphere. The material of his jokes included entertaining observations on politics, personal experiences, and the cultural difficulties and ironies of being an Indian and Jewish man living in the United States.

Koletkar began the show by enthusiastically asking the audience, "Are you guys ready for some entertainment? Are you guys ready for some Bollywood? Then let the show begin!"

According to the show's program, Hooray for Bollywood, which was started by artistic directors and choreographers Neena and Veena, who specialize in Indian dances, was "the first professional Bollywood dance company of its kind in North America." The twins performed intermittent numbers featuring their own exceptional skills throughout the evening.

The costumes of Hooray for Bollywood were impressively designed and beautifully decorated by "top designers from India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey," according to the program.

The performers opened the show with a dance-off between Hooray for Bollywood's male and female members. This strategy proved a dynamic beginning to the evening and allowed the dancers to show off some of their most remarkable moves.

Another memorable number included a dance featuring one of the twin founders performing with swords. Entering the stage in an ornate costume of black and silver, the dancer placed a sword between her teeth and continued her routine, later balancing another one on her head as she continued to twirl and gyrate.

Other numbers throughout the show were satisfactory, but few were as engaging. The end of the show, however, became refreshingly experimental. One act featured a blend of Indian and break dancing, with the male performers dressed in white tee shirts and jeans as opposed to the rest of the ornate costumes used in other numbers.

Another performance saw two female dancers with large, gold, extendable capes that created the effect of large fans or wings behind them as they moved.

Possibly the most diverting number of the night featured the male and a female dancers performing impressive acrobatic feats using a ring hoisted high above the stage. Long sashes were tied to the ring, allowing the two dancers to climb them or to use the sashes to balance themselves horizontally or upside down. Several times, the dancers also used these props to either spin each other in midair, or to hold each other suspended from the ground.

Limelight and Accents, part of Activities Commission, hosts a series of performances throughout the rest of the year. More information can be found at u