|Artist: Delna Mody|
Delna Mody is a trained actor, singer and dancer with a BA in Musical Theatre from Sheridan College(Toronto), one of the leading music theatre schools in North America.
She started her career on the Mumbai stage, playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (choreographed by Shiamak Davar, directed by Meher Jehangir )followed by The Big A, written by noted Indian playwright Kamala Ramchandani Naharwar and directed by Madhulika Verma.
Since returning to Mumbai from Toronto in 2008, in 2009, she completed a run of Raell Padamsee’s musical theatre revue show –Men Call the Shots and Women Drink Them as well as Cyrusitis with Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Vijayakar.
Her work in Canada includes three seasons with Forward Theatre( A Modern Shakespeare Theatre Company) in Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet, performed at the prestigious Living Arts Centre, Ontario.
Singing credits include sold-out solo performances at the NCPA Tata theatre with the Stop-Gaps in Widening the Street (Oct 2009) where she performed songs from some of the most popular and beloved classical musicals. She was also in concert with the Stop Gaps in Diapason Delights and Delna, (Tata Theatre, March 2010), with her singing solos by composers Sondheim, Lerner and Lowe, Cole Porter and Kurt Weill.
The premier show with her theatre company The Orange Dinghy Theatre Company, was a one-woman show, Good Morning Miss Katya (written and enacted by Mody), the story of a young, bitter, artist turned art teacher and her tumultuous relationship with her mother. Having premiered on the 25th of April 2010, followed by shows in Oct 2010 at NCPA Experimental, it reveals Katya’s journey of self-discovery through the act of locking herself up in her room while asking herself some painful questions and reliving her childhood to arrive at the truth. Critically acclaimed by noted theatre critic and writer Deepa Gahlot, the show was staged through 2011.
Apart from Good Morning Miss Katya, she has been the lead singer for numerous productions like ON BROADWAY at St. Andrews Theatre (with Merlyn D’Souza), Life Through the Songs We Like (premiered at the first NCPA Centerstage Theatre Festival, Nov 2010), and was invited to perform All That I Ever Wanted at the second NCPA Theatre Festival once again in 2011 at the Tata theatre, which had her singing the songs of the legendary French singer, Edith Piaf).
She has also been the principal singer for Raell Padamsee’s Broadway and Beyond as well as The Sound of Music (Raell Padamsee’s Ace Productions) that opened on Jan 25th, 2011 at the NCPA Tata Theatre. Mody essayed the lead role of Maria, which played to packed houses for close to two years and had its last season in September 2012.
In July and September 2012 her musical theatre as well as classical concerts in Germany (Lahr and Ettenheim) garnered a very positive response from the audience as well as the critics.
Her venture The Broadway Funnies premiered at The Comedy Store, now the Canvas Laugh Factory, in March 2013, to a heart-warming response. In Feb 2014, Delna gave her singing voice to the hilarious character of Gabi the dart frog, in Rio 2(Hindi) that was played by none other than Kristin Chenoweth, one of Broadway’s biggest stars, in the English version.
She was also invited to perform a Western Classical medley at The Lakme Fashion Week at in March 2014 for designer Ashdeen Lilaowala’s ecclectic collection has worked as the lead singer in Broadway and Beyond for Raell Padamsee’s Ace Productions which played in Mumbai from 2011-2014.
In the years 2015/2016 Mody has also sung at the UNESCO Parzor Fashion Week for Wendall Rodericks, at Shane and Falguni Peacock’s Bridal show as well as well as events produced by Fountainhead including playback singing for an Opera sequence in the (Willow Song, Othello) in the Yash Raj film Befikre. In 2017, Mody lent her voice to the character of the Wardrobe in the Disney feature film Beauty and The Beast.
In March 2019, Mody was awarded The Women’s Achiever Award for her contribution to theatre/Musical Theatre This award was initiated by the Young Environmentalists Trust and is affiliated with the efforts of Vice- President Al Gore. Past recipients include Pheroza Godrej, Medha Patkar, Indu Shahani, Abha Singh, Lillette Dubey many others who have made a mark in their various fields.
|Host: Narendra Kusnur|
Narendra Kusnur has been a journalist for 35 years, specializing in covering of music. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Mid-Day, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Music Plus and Seniors Today.
Kusnur has also had a two year stint with EMI Music India, handling the Indian music and Warner Music repertoire. At Reliance Retail, he headed training for their lifestyle products division, including books and music.
He writes on all forms of Indian and international music, besides appearing in conferences and webinars. Recently, he presented a series on the basics of jazz for NCPA Mumbai.