Glittering tribute to Magic of Bollywood

Music and dance were main ingredients for an evening that shone spotlight on India’s entertainment powerhouse.

Priyanka Chopra graces the red carpet at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival  before her crowd pleasing performance. Satish Kumar / The National
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ABU DHABI // The Emirates Palace hosted a private music and dance show on Wednesday night at the 8th Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

Titled Magic of Bollywood and conceived by Indian choreographer, singer and actor Ganesh Hegde, the show treated 1,000 guests, dignitaries and VIPs to a glimpse of the grandeur of India's entertainment culture.

The curtain rose at 9pm with a Ganesh Vandana performed by Hegde's dance troupe, as is customary for such performances, followed by a Shiv Tandav, also by Hegde's troupe.

The dancers delivered a spectacular performance, which was highlighted by exquisite costumes and LED lighting effects.

The first of the stars to appear on stage was Anushka Manchanda, the Indian singer, model, an ex-Channel [V] VJ with a successful playback singing career in Bollywood.

Manchanda's cover of Dum Maro Dum, an immensely popular song from 1971's film Hare Rama Hare Krishna catapulted her to fame and was part of her performance.

For her 15-minute set, Manchanda was accompanied by a set of burlesque-ish dancers – decidely risque by UAE standards, as is expected of her.

Next up was Elli Avram, the Swedish-Greek actress working out of Mumbai, who performed In Ankhon Ki Masti from the 1981 classic Umrao Jaan, as well as O Re Piya from 2007's Aaja Nachle.

The event was backed by B R Shetty, the founder and chief executive of NMC Healthcare, and a short break was taken from the performances for his speech.

Ali Al Jabri, the director of ADFF, delighted the audience with a short speech in Hindi.

Then the moment everyone was looking forward to: the performance by Priyanka Chopra.

A vision in green, the Bollywood superstar dazzled the audience with the title song from her 2013 film, Ram Leela.

Finally, Ganesh Hegde took the stage with vocal and dance performances to some of his best-known numbers, leaving the audience mesmerised by Bollywood magic.