Last night (Friday 26 November 2010) AR Rahmanâ€™s entourage reached Durban which is home to the largest number of Indians who have settled in the diaspora. Making the concert even more special is the fact that this is the year which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first Indian indentured labourers to reach South Africaâ€™s shores
Lights, camera, action! Such was the setting at the Moses Mabhida Stadium for one of the most magnificent concerts to reach Durbanâ€¦ and itâ€™s all been captured on film. AR Rahmanâ€™s â€˜Jai Ho: Journey Home World Tourâ€™ is a fusion of colour and music with backdrops which range from lights to photographs and even painted settings.
There is something for everyone as he has catered for all musical tastes. Traditional sitar combines with electric guitar; jazz moves into hip-hop; and the sound of the flute infuses both Indian and Irish melodies. One canâ€™t leave out the drums and timpani as itâ€™s the beat which permeates the stadium and infiltrates oneâ€™s mind and body. Thereâ€™s no reason to sit still â€“ itâ€™s a concert which begs for you to leave your seats and party along.
Energetic dancers prove that synchronicity is the name of the game and their smiles indicate that not only are they pulsating with energy, but express their love for what they do. In addition, the fusion of dance forms causes one to gaze in awe. In fact, one can even say that the choreography has given new insight into hip-hop.
However, this isnâ€™t merely music there is a tale woven into the production of a lad who retraces his roots and finds his way home into the arms of his family. Â Spirituality and tradition have also been woven into the journey.
According to Rahman it took eight months to put together this theatrical explosion which came to us with an African touch as well as a surprise performance by the Soweto Gospel Choir. However, as Rahman said: â€œItâ€™s the love that binds it all together. Hindi, Tamil, Englishâ€¦all in the land of Nelson Mandela and Gandhi!â€
The rain came pouring down towards the end of the concert, but I believe this was actually a good sign as the concert, when performed in India, always closed in the rain. But, perhaps itâ€™s even more than that â€“ itâ€™s saying goodbye with a tear in the eye to AR Rahman, his talented cast members and musicians as the leave South Africa and continue their tour! Hamba kahle, Namaste, travel safely and return to us soon!