Vogue - Indian Culture beyond Bollywood and Cricket   DNA-A Brilliant Mix of Dance And Drama   Hindustan Times-Dance Extravaganza   India Today-Modern Day Love Story   The Hindu-Rich Indian Heritage   Indian Express-Magnificent Set Design   Deccan Chronical-Glitterati Express   Radio and Music-India's First Commercial Musical Theatre   Over 2000 Extravagant Costumes & 1500 Accessories   Spectacular Sets, Toe-Tapping Music

 

Welcome to Taj Express

Namaste and welcome aboard the Taj Express as it makes its exhilarating and vibrant journey from Mumbai - the city of dreams, to Agra - home of the Taj Mahal. During our journey, refreshing snippets from India's rich and diverse heritage will be served. On the specials menu are electrifying dance numbers including vibrant and rhythmic forms like the Lavani from Maharashtra, the Koothu from South India and the dance of the blue god - Lord Shiva's mesmerising and powerful Tandava.

The story has elements of comedy, suspense, laughter, romance, controversy, action and a host of unforgettable characters and promises not only to bring Bollywood to the world – but guarantees to reveal the vividly engaging heart of India as well.


Taj Express Synopsis

A prince at heart and a pauper in the pocket, a street-smart thief Vasu is a homeless robber with a scruffy outside and a heart of gold. Mothered by the streets of the big brutal city, Vasu grows up to be one of the best thieves in Mumbai - but he longs for a settled life away from the big city chaos of Mumbai. Vasu, besotted by his childhood muse Meera, sets out on a journey to find her and express his undying love. Meera, is on the run to unite with the man of her dreams. They both board the Taj Express with separate intentions – unaware of Destiny’s playful plan.

As the Taj Express chugs past colourful villages and quaint towns from Mumbai to Benares, Vasu tries to win over Meera’s heart. But despite more than a few tender moments, she leaves to reunite with the man of her dreams. Heart-broken Vasu decides to follow his destiny. But Destiny, as we Indians know, has its own plan.

Will Vasu's love prevail? Will the king of hearts ever win over his queen?

Find out – on-board the Taj Express!



See what the Bollywood Stars say about Taj Express

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Cast


Crew


Production / Managment Crew
  • Choreographer: Shruti Merchant & Rajitdev Easwardas
  • Remixes: Abhijit Vaghani
  • Head of Wardrobe: Mohammed Yusuf Shaikh
 
  • Make-up Artist: Dinesh Suvarna Koraga
  • Casting Director: Vicky Sidana
  • Publicity Design: Priyanka Doshi (www.oysterdesign.net)

Vasu
Vasu - Dhruv Bhandari

A prince at heart and a pauper in the pocket, a street-smart thief, Vasu is a homeless robber. Growing up with thieves, he dreams for a life away from the underbelly of society where he can woo Meera, the girl he met during his childhood. He has been brought up and trained by Jaggu, a seasoned thief. But despite his success his heart and mind continues to wander off to Meera.

Narrator
Meera - Vandana Joshi

Meera is the daughter of the commissioner of police. Unlike Vasu, she has grown up with a silver spoon. But quite suffocated with the restrictions imposed by her father, she falls in love with Raj a tourist guide from Agra. Her father opposes the match and forces Raj out of her life. But destiny has its own plan.

Narrator
Narrator - Priyanshu Painyuli

Having travelled in trains for almost 27 years, he is not only the first hand witness to the diversity that India is, but also the narrator who weaves this colorful romantic tale into a fine piece of tapestry taking the audiences on this journey of love.

Commissioner Rathod
Commissioner Rathod - Tanay Pinglay

Commissioner Rathod, Meera's father is a strict disciplinarian and authoritative figure and the Commissioner of Police of Mumbai. After losing his wife almost 13 years ago, he has tried to control things around him, especially his daughter's life.

Shruti Marchant
Shruti Merchant - Producer & Director

Prior to directing Taj Express, Shruti Merchant has toured with travelling musicals for over five years as an associate/touring choreographer. She has performed in countries like Australia, UK, Switzerland, South Africa, Spain, France, Singapore and the United States to name a few, and it is during this time that she experienced the global theatre scene first-hand. Shruti has also assisted in the choreography direction of various Bollywood blockbusters and with Taj Express, she has created a path-breaking song, dance and drama extravaganza that will entertain and enthral audiences of all ages, world-over.

Shruti hopes to have Taj Express tour to every big and small city around the world - to give audiences a true flavor of India.

Vaibhavi Marchant
Vaibhavi Merchant - Director of Choreography

Vaibhavi Merchant is one of Bollywood's leading dance choreographers. The grand daughter of pioneering choreographer Shri B Hiralal, Vaibhavi's journey with dance began at an early age. During her career, Vaibhavi has choreographed dance numbers in numerous hit Bollywood films. She has been awarded a National Film Award for her choreography in 'Dhol Baaje' from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Vaibhavi was also the choreography director for The Merchants of Bollywood, which has been touring globally for the past six-and-a-half years.

With Taj Express, Vaibhavi has worked towards bringing the magic of the story on stage through the expression and grace of various dance forms.

www.vaibhavimerchant.com

Pranav Merchant
Pranav Merchant - Executive Producer

Pranav Merchant is the Director / Senior Vice President of Shreepati Group and has spent his life building businesses in varied industries including Real Estate, Entertainment etc. and guiding them to profitability. His passion for the International Musical Business brings Pranav on board the Taj Express, where he hopes to introduce audiences in India and abroad to the true essence of India while creating a global platform to showcase Indian talent. As the Executive Producer, Pranav has been dedicated to getting some of the Indian entertainment industry's most gifted talents involved in the Taj Express.

Pranav's vision for Taj Express is to have shown in every country around the world – and to evolve the show into Seasons that will have audiences hungry for more every time Taj Express is 'back in town'.

Akash Mohimen
Akash Mohimen - Writer

Akash Mohimen is a writer and filmmaker. He began his career as a playwright with the children's play The Mighty Mirembayanna and The Prisoners of Peace. Having worked with India's premiere youth theatre festival, Thespo. He went on to be selected for Royal Court Theatre's Indian residency program, Writers' Bloc, where he developed his latest play, Mahua, produced by Rage Theatre Productions.

Writing for Taj Express was a quite challenging for him, as he had to keep the dramatic scenes as high energy as the dance sequences without losing the essence and emotions of the story, and also weave enough information about India without making it seem preachy.

Salim & Sulaiman
Salim & Sulaiman - Music Directors

Salim and Sulaiman are a renowned Indian music composer duo credited with a host of chart-topping hits. In the past decade the duo have composed music for blockbuster Bollywood flicks such as Chak De India, Fashion, Neal 'n' Nikki and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, to name a few.

With the title track of the Taj Express which was composed exclusively for the show, Salim and Sulaiman have created a score that features traditional Indian sounds while maintaining a global flavour.

Monty Sharama
Monty Sharama - Background Score & Music

Monty Sharma is a veteran of the Indian film fraternity and has composed background scores for numerous Bollywood hits. Over the years, Monty has been the recipient of several awards from the International Indian Film Academy and Filmfare.

While working on the Taj Express, Monty was inspired by the sensitivity of the script which creates a soulful context to the musical's vibrant song and dance numbers. He kept this delicate balance in mind while composing the background score. Monty has also composed the soulful and sensuous number - 'The Garden of Love' exclusively for the Taj Express.

Bipin Tanna
Bipin Tanna - Costume Designer

Taj Express is Bipin's second experience with a musical on Stage in addition to various TV shows and Bollywood movies.

Designing costumes for the show was an extensive and intriguing project for him which resulted in over 300 costumes and more than 500 accessories featuring exquisite details, colours, glamour and bling. One of the goals of the show is to put Indian textiles on the international map and the Taj Express is as much a journey through the vast array of Indian textiles as it is through India.

Marai Tharakan
Maria Tharakan - Costume Designer

Having worked as a Stylist in the Hindi film industry (Bollywood) for the past 3 years on various films, including award winning movies like Band Baaja Baaraat and The Dirty Picture (National Award for costumes), moving to the world of theatre was an exciting new experience. It was fascinating to create costumes for stage that are extravagant and at the same time, brought alive by each character.

Through the costumes, I wanted to capture the beautiful interplay between the storyline and the music to bring out the essence of the journey that the characters take on board the 'Taj Express', portraying a kaleidoscope of the very diverse Indian culture.

Craig Bruce
Craig Bruce - Sound Designer

Having been working with us since our Taj Express world premiere in Singapore, way back in June 2012, now also taking care of our other shows Craig is excited to be working on such a diverse set of shows.
Coming from a background of international live concert touring, there is not a place he has not worked at, often he can be in the most remote locations at the drop of a hat, and this makes him well versed in what’s required to deliver the high energy sound reinforcement this show requires.
His company Think Audio Productions Ltd based in the UK designed our show control system, working closely with our Creative Manager/Chief Assistant Director Ankush Dhawan since our very first performance. Together they have created a system that enables us to bring a taste of India to anywhere in the world.
Craig is modest about his work; here are a few examples of his past and present projects - London 2012 Olympic Games, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. UK Festivals- Glastonbury, Download, V, T in the Park. International tours with, We Will Rock You "The Queen Musical", Il Divo, Elbow, Foals, Andrea Bocelli, Hurts, Nitro Circus, Crosby Stills & Nash, Celtic Thunder.

He also runs his own company which provides technical services & staff to the live events industry.

On a personal note Craig is currently following his passion of flying, training to gain his helicopter pilot license, Where does he find the time!!

Ankush Dhawan
Ankush Dhawan - Creative Manager / Chief Assistant Director

With past stints as Assistant Director, Creative Producer, Underwater Cinematographer and Associate Producer for various Television, Reality and Live shows, it was natural for Ankush to work for an International Musical like Taj Express.

His various stints with leading adventure, lifestyle and sports channels like National Geographic Channel, World Sports Group etc., for which he travelled extensively, have helped Ankush in meeting the rigorous demands of the touring Taj Express.

Being a part of Taj Express since its inception and setting up the production work from ground zero, Ankush Dhawan dreams what Taj Express dreams, making it big, making it large, making it famous.

Stephan Alcaraz
Stephan Alcaraz Salinas - Production Manager / Technical Director

Being raised in the boards of stage, with both parents' as artists, Stephan decided to shape his own destiny, taking the world as a destination, through all the continents and cultures.

Years later after venturing throughout the world, he decided to return to his origin - Theater. He started working as a Stage Manager on several World Tours and host to some of the best shows as a Local Production Manager such as Ballet Rafael Aguilar, Stomp, Slava Snow Show, Walt Disney On Ice, Arturo Brachetti, Estopa, Canto Del Loco, West side Story (German Production), Soweto Gospel, Harlem Gospel among several others.

Years later decided to join his two passions and ventured on to be the Managing Director of UNIART, heading it from its head office in Beijing for three years.

That's how his relationship with TAJ EXPRESS began, taking us to a journey of no boundaries.

Hiten Shah
Hiten Shah - Dance Captain & Assistant Choreographer

Having been deeply involved in dance, Hiten feels that dance is the language he speaks. Being a dancer for the past decade, he meticulously paved his way into Bollywood performing in Movies and Stage shows, later on assisting Vaibhavi Merchant in her movies. It was during this tenure that he gained confidence and molded a niche for himself.

Having toured with Taj Express as the Dance Captain has helped groom himself in the various aspects of dance and stage musicals. He looks forward to entertain the world by delivering awe inspiring performances for the years to come.

Shahbaz Khan
Shahbaz Khan - Company Manager / Financial Controller

Stepping into Bollywood at an early age Shahbaz learnt the nuances of Bollywood working as a Production Assistant, Production Head and eventually a Production Controller for various Feature Films, TVC's and Music Videos for Production companies such as Highlight Films, The Walt Disney Company India etc. With Production being his main criteria of interest, he strives towards being "Production Perfect" and keeping the Production team a cohesive unit.

"Working on an International Musical such as Taj Express requires a completely different skill set which is a challenge I love to embrace and perfect".

Aruna Poojary
Aruna Nitin Poojary - Stage Manager

The world of stage and theatre has always been very attractive and inspiring to Aruna. Being trained in Bharatnatyam from an early age, dancing has always been a passion, and stepping into Bollywood turned her passion into her profession. Being a performing artist and touring the world with a leading Bollywood Musical, it was time for her to take the next leap, and that is when Taj Express came along.

Working as a Stage Manager on Taj Express has been a dream come true for Aruna. As Stage Manager of this magical musical she promises to never disappoint the shows audience and leave them wanting for more.

Nitin Poojary
Nitin Poojary - Head Mechanist

Having trained in gymnastics, jazz and contemporary dancing, a career in Bollywood was a dream come true for Nitin. He has also worked as an assistant choreographer with Ms. Vaibhavi Merchant. Having been travelling around the world as a performing artist in a leading Bollywood Musical helped him gain a new perspective to Theatrical Musicals. He got to learn and experience the technical aspects of Stage with Taj express.

"Working as a Head Mechanist in Taj express has been fun and challenging at the same time and looks forward to catering the show to audiences all around the world."

Tours

Tour Schedule

Taiwan2014
21st July to 28th July 2014
Taipei National Theater
Taipei

 
Turkey (15th Turkish State Theatre Sabanci International Adana Theatre Festival)
2013
1st April 2013
Sabanci University Theater
Istanbul


28th & 29th March 2013
Adana State Theatre
Adana
 
China2012 - 2013
22nd January 2013
Qionghua Grand Theater
Foshan


20th January 2013
Shenzhen Polly Theater
Shenzhen


18th January 2013
Shenzhen Longgang Culture Center
Longang


15th & 16th January 2013
Shanghai Culture Square
Shanghai


9th to 12th January 2013
Guangzhou Grand Theater
Guangzhou


7th January 2013
Zongshan Art & Culture Center
Zongshan


5th January 2013
Hubei Theatre
Wuhan


1st & 2nd January 2013
Xiamen Minnan Theater
Xiamen


23rd & 24th December 2012
Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center
Haikou


19th & 20th December 2012
Jiangxi Arts Center
Nanchang


Singapore (World Premiere)2012
6th to 10th June 2012
Esplanade Theatre
Singapore
 

Touring Cast & Crew

  • Producer/Director (1)
  • Production Manager/Technical Director (1)
  • Company Manager (1)
  • Principal Actors (4)
  • Male Dance Performers (11)
  • Female Dance Performers (12)
  • Dance Captain (1)
  • Stage Manager (1)
  • Head Mechanist (Flymen) (1)
  • Sound Engineer (Uk) (1)
  • Lighting Director (Spain) (1)
  • Wardrobe(1)
  • Hair & Make-Up Artist (1)

In The News

Digital

Demo

What's on Shenzhen

January 11, 2013
The Asian Age

Life of Guangzhou

January 10, 2013
omfglol

 

December 28, 2012
V1

Wuhan – TV Report

December 16, 2012
deccanchronicle

 

July 12, 2011
indiatoday

Merchant of Dance

July 11, 2011
sawfnews

 

July 11, 2011

Contact Us

Incredible India

Incredible India pledges support to Taj Express! In 2012, the Indian Government pledged their to support Taj Express on a global platform through their brand 'Incredible India'.

The tourism board will be not only lending it's name to the show to catapult our credibility, but will also support us on various international efforts while the show tours globally

Quintessence Entertainment Productions 110/111 , Crescent Mansion, Ground Floor,
Gamdevi Lane, Near Gamdevi Telephone Exchange
Nana Chowk, Grant Road (West) Mumbai - 400007.

Tel : +91 22 2389 3503 / 2389 6782
Email : info@quintessence.co.in