On April 16, 2017, Hong Kong was showered in a shimmer of sequins and leg-shaking as DA-BANGG, the most epic Bollywood live tour on the planet, came to the city for one night only. As the official event photographer this was by far the biggest and most prestigious medley of superstars that have come across my lens to date! This incredible masala proved nothing short of being spectacular, with a crowd of 10,000 off their seats and over 35 million social media followers watching history being made in Hong Kong. Here are the behind the scenes photos and videos of the event.
Bursting with song, dance, drama and everything else you’d expect from an Indian extravaganza of this kind, the concert was put on by Revel Events' husband and wife team Rani & Harry Moriani, Mr Kishore Samtani and the amazing Shroff family, along with the support of the Indian community. The show itself was co-ordinated, scripted and directed by JA Events LLP and Sohail Khan Entertainment. The DA-BANGG entertainment juggernaut landed at Hong Kong’s ever picturesque Central Harbourfront event space against the backdrop of one of the most iconic skylines in the world.
Here are the scenes of all the arrivals at Hong Kong International Airport courtesy of Shah studio, with private security firm MC Security on top of the situation from start to finish.
The show’s organizers promised the audience they would be entertained “like never before”, and I dare say they kept their word. With a team consisting of 150 dancers, choreographers, directors and crew, each superstar succeeded in rolling out some eye-popping razzle dazzle.
Unsurprisingly the biggest screams of the night went out to the Gentlemen’s Sultan and undisputed king of the box office, Salman Khan. He performed to some of the best songs of his career with a series of dramatic entrances on stage. His star power is truly palpable!
Acting-wise, however, you don’t get more versatile than Bipasha Basu. This scream queen is particularly well known for her work on thriller and horror films, but she’s also starred in comedies and romances, to boot. Being carried in on a litter by 10 men added a unique touch to her entrance. Needless to say, she’s got a few dance moves up her sleeves too!
Sonakshi Sinha also lit up the stage with her stunning outfits and faultless performance. Clearly she had to be in DA-BANGG, having exploded onto the scene with a film of the same name in 2010, for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. The daughter of Indian actors Shatrughan and Poonam, she was born for the silver screen, but I could tell her live performance was a real success from the audience's reaction.
The multi-talented choreographer, film director, actor and producer that is Prabhu Deva arguably had the best dance moves of the night. With a career spanning 25 years, he’s worked in films in several different languages, invented a range of new dancing styles and won two National Film Awards for Best Choreography. Take a look at some of the shapes and choreography he showcased.
King of cool Badshah brought his badass rap attack “DJ Waley Babu” to the roaring crowds. This showstopper of a song was ranked number one in the Indian charts within 24 hours of release, while the video knocked up more than a million views on YouTube in 30 hours. Seeing it live was nothing short of sensational.
The biggest surprise of the night...
Exclusive only to the Hong Kong leg of the tour...
Legendary superstar and producer Akshay Kumar roared into the event on a motorcycle as fans desperately tried to catch a glimpse as he passed! The winner of Best Actor at the National Film Awards in 2016 and martial artist showed no signs of ageing as he climbed up one of the stage supports while singing! With over 100 films to his credit, he danced with such passion that some fans behind me literally lost their voices as they screamed his name.
And there is no denying the show-stopping power of Daisy Shah, an overwhelmingly stunning dancer, model and actress. Having appeared alongside Salman Khan in the 2014 film Jai Ho, her onstage chemistry with the biggest man in Bollywood was clear for all to see.
The gorgeous Elli AvrRam, a Swedish-Greek actress based in Mumbai, rounded out the performances for the night with 2 colorful costumes as she showed off her dance skills alongside Akshay. She even gave us a glimpse of her Chinese language skills at the airport arrival area, check it out on my instagram @aligphoto
And heaven forbid I forget to mention Maniesh Paul, who pulled the whole show together with his topnotch dancing act, humor and hosting. For those who arrived early, they had the opportunity to catch young singing sensations Siddharth Slathia and Vidya Vox followed by local dance troupe Dazzling Dance by Jeet and Rendition by Varsha, co-ordinated by Aruna Jha.
This event was possible because of the huge support of teamwork from:
Personalizestuff, Print Plus, HK YantoYan, Red Peppers Entertainment, Colours MTV, Kebab Factory, Grand Hyatt, AM104.4, Sanjh magazine, Virsa Magazine, The Indian, BR International, Bonaqua, Rimi Make Up Artist, Lookshk Salon and Team and Datar Consultants
As for me, after two 18-hour days of airport arrivals, watching & photographing rehearsals and the main event itself, I’m exhausted, but most of all exhilarated to have been part of a team which made history in Hong Kong. My gratitude goes out to all those involved and who put their trust in me and my work. I will never forget this night.
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This blog was co-authored with Crystal Wilde.