It's a fact that when Bollywood's top hero Shah Rukh Khan associates himself with a movie or a brand, more often than not, he delivers the goods. The Khan-led Bollywood dance extravaganza Temptations Reloaded 2008 was no different.

The thousands of Bollywood fans, who descended upon the expansive Dubai Festival City Arena to watch a sizzling live show on Saturday night, were treated to some spectacular theatrical song and dance performances.

Over-the-top choreography, dozens of dancers in glittering costumes, perfectly-timed pyrotechnics, well-contrived intimate sessions with fans, and the exuberant performance by Bollywood's happening stars such as Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Arjun Rampal, besides Khan, made Temptations Reloaded 2008 a night to remember.

In many ways Khan, who abruptly cancelled the European leg of the same tour citing irreconcilable differences with the overseas organisers earlier this month, has redeemed himself.

"I am not doing it for the money anymore. There's no way I will support a sub-standard product and there has to be a certain level of quality in my shows. I am not willing to compromise in such matters," Khan said in an interview with tabloid! after a chaotic press conference on Thursday.

True to his word, Khan combined a good dose of comedy, charm, glamour and romance into his pet project and, 48 hours later, won the crowd over in a three-hour Bollywood bonanza.

The show began an hour late with MTV India VJ Anusha Dandekar swinging her hips to the chartbuster Aaj Ki Raat from Khan's hit film Don.


But it was the arrival of the Bollywood's current favourite, Katrina Kaif, that had the 15,000-strong crowd hollering for more. Emerging from golden swathes, Kaif - who had poured herself into a black leather pants and a jewel-encrusted bustier - let herself loose on the dance floor.

Using props such as an oversized chair, Kaif managed to recreate the flamboyance of Bollywood dance numbers with enviable ease. Without uttering a word to the audience, Kaif went about her business of entertaining with slick precision and danced to her hit number Zara Zara Touch Me (Race).

This was followed by a guitar-toting Rampal who made a dramatic entry onto the stage. Balancing precariously atop a crane, the model-turned-actor's rock-star entrance was well-liked. The high point of his performance was when he gave in to the hysterical "take your shirt off" pleas from a legion of frenzied teenagers.

No sooner had the screaming mellowed when the overhead screens showing the sizzling Kapoor prancing around in a bikini announced the arrival of the Bollywood A-lister.

Wearing an bustier that bore an uncanny resemblance to the one she had worn during the Zee Cine Awards ceremony in London and her recent dance extravaganza Jashn 2008 in Dubai, the Kapoor lass danced to her hit numbers including Chaliya Chaliya (Tashan) and It's Rocking! (Kya Love Story Hai). As usual, Kapoor rendered a faultless but a slightly soulless performance.

Royal style

But the lack of personal touch in the initial sessions were remedied a few minutes later with the brassy UK-based Indian rapper Hard Kaur's roar, "Are you ready for the Baadshah (King) of Bollywood?".

In royal style, Shah Rukh Khan descended on the stage from a well-lit throne suspended from high above. Unleashing something akin to Beatlemania, Khan (42) brought on the razzle-dazzle with his hit number Dard-de-Disco (Om Shanti Om) and played up to the "We love you Shah Rukh" and "We want more" with flying kisses.

A few pelvic thrusts and a rocky landing from a hot-air balloon later, Khan treated his loyal subjects to some informal lessons on how to romance, dance and act like him.

After handpicking a visibly SRK-smitten couple, Nadeem Hassan and Roopa Sharma, from the front row, Khan made a grand gesture with, "Let me teach you how to romance like SRK." In just five minutes, Bollywood's king of romance convinced them to break into a song and dance routine and transformed the stage into a romantic haven with balloons, candies — the works.

A few more puppets were chosen from the crowd, much to the delight of his fans. Waltzing with a grade three teacher and teaching a rotund Punjabi to be a dangerous underworld don, stirred things up a bit.

But the theatrical segment of the Bollywood bonanza reached a crescendo when Khan's wife, Gauri, floated down the stage with a cake as a surprise wedding anniversary gift.

Incidentally, even the timing of the concert was well-orchestrated, with their 17th wedding anniversary falling on October 25. A speechless Khan (which I must say is a rare occurrence), a doting wife and the entourage piling on them were the stuff that great Bollywood potboilers are made of.

Not scripted

"This was not scripted. I swear on my kids that this will be one of the few times that you will witness Shah Rukh stumped and speechless," said Rampal pitching in for Khan.

Surprisingly, a few minutes later, Khan recovered from his initial shock and was serenading Kaif, Kapoor and Anusha Dandekar in turns. The grand finale saw the entourage matching steps with Khan to some of his hit songs, including Om Shanti Om and Kal Ho Na Ho.

At the end of the three hour show, the crowd — who were seated the whole time — returned home with a feeling of having watched a Bollywood musical with generous helpings of drama and feel-good moments.

No more eye-candy roles for Kaif

When it comes to playing the role of a glamour doll, nobody does it better than Katrina Kaif. Kaif has enjoyed a phenomenal reign at the Bollywood box-office with four back-to-back blockbusters to her credit in the past two years. Voted recently as the world's sexiest woman by men's magazine FHM, Kaif is now in an experimental mode and may soon be taking a breather from her signature eye-candy roles.

"Very soon, you will get to watch me in a string of serious roles. For instance, my role in the Yash Raj movie, New York, with actor John Abraham is an intense one. I will also be seen in a non-glamorous avatar in Prakash Jha's Rajniti featuring Ajay Devgan and Ranbir Kapoor in the lead," reveals Kaif in an e-mail interview prior to her performance in Dubai.

Apart from her meteoric rise in Bollywood, Kaif (24) is also one of the few actresses who has bagged some of the best endorsement deals. Earlier this year, Kaif replaced queen-bee Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in a high-profile diamond jewellery campaign.

"When I take on a brand endorsement or a film, I need to relate to it on some level. It's not just about how attractive the paycheck is. I am very choosy about it."

Kaif on:

Dancing: "I enjoy dancing... but of course, freestyle dancing when you are with friends is very different from a choreographed show. People spend money and come to our shows with great expectations and I feel that they deserve the best possible."

Being voted the sexiest woman alive: "I take this with a big pinch of salt. Though these polls were conducted by some of the world's most reputed magazines, I look at them as passing glories."

Sound bytes

The three-hour dance extravaganza was not just about hip thrusts and lip syncing. Some of the quotable quotes include:
"The secret to my good body is my wife's cooking." - Arjun Rampal, when asked about his fitness secret.

"The hot-air balloon is a bit tricky." - A visibly-shaken SRK when the hot-air balloon gimmick didn't land smoothly.

"That's one of the reasons why Priety Zinta is not a big star like me." - SRK when one of his chosen few (a grade three teacher) refused to do the vulgar hip-thrust.

"I learnt how to act." - Arjun Rampal on the secret behind his recent good spell at the box office hits.