THEATRE Deepak Bahl stirs up Chinese flavours in the Capital with “The Legend of Kung Fu”

Steamy noodles and action packed sequences, courtesy Bruce Lee and in recent times Jackie Chan, are the few images that conjure up in our minds at the mention of China. Almost bent in double with the stereotyping through the years, Chinese theatre brings to Indian shores new flavours depicting a different take on the Chinese way of life. Arya Carnivals, in conjunction with China Heaven Creation, is showcasing “The Legend of Kung Fu” in the Capital currently.

An unpretentious office in Delhi’s Okhla Industrial Area is where Deepak Bahl, CEO of Arya Carnivals and the man behind pharmaceutical giant, New Life Pharmaceuticals, designs his multi-faceted plans in. “Being a business person for the past 35 to 40 years, I always keep my eyes open for a venture which can be new, exciting and worthwhile entering into, which apart from giving the satisfaction of doing something new also gives you better finances”, claims Bahl. Introduced to the show back in 2010 and a repetition in 2011 at the Red Theatre in Beijing, Bahl was completely enamoured by it. The show had toured the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia and Bahl approached them for an Indian performance. Fortunately for Bahl, they were looking at prospects in India but were unable to find a suitable partner. Bahl, excited about the the show, briefly sums up his experience, “The show is regarding the art of Kung Fu and how it was evolved by the solemn Chinese monks. Art was to overcome the weakness of the mind and the body. So the people used to go to the monks for remedies for the problems afflicting them. This gives us an insight into the very basics of Kung Fu and how it is actually for protection, and not for destruction.” The storyline follows the life of a young boy left in the care of monks by his mother and his growth into a self-sufficient individual, sprinkled with themes of romance, martial arts, acrobats, dance and music.

With theatre being not a strong crowd puller for Indian youth, what made Bahl target a young audience for this show? “It was purely my gut feeling. I assessed it vis-à-vis the expenses and the revenue being generated. Although the revenue is not going to be large but it is to test the market so that we can repeat the show over the next five years,” says Bahl on his reasons for experimenting with theatre and signing a five year exclusive contract with China Heaven Creation.

Ticket pricing has also been done keeping in mind a young audience, with different price margins chalked out for school-going children.

(The show will be on at Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon till 3rd February, 2013. It will have more shows at Siri Fort Auditorium from9th Feb to 13th Feb)

BIDISHA MAHANTA

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