A mother and daughter duo has taken dance beyond bharatanatyam in Madurai. In 10 months, their dream venture – Euforia Danscool – has grown 10 folds teaching hip hop, freestyle, aerobics, zumba, salsa, b-boy, freestyle and bollywood. Launched with 10 students and a dance master last December, today it has over 100 kids and adults enrolled and a team of eight dance masters taking the centre to new heights. The teachers and the taught have already performed twice for its home crowd.
Their last show was over the weekend titled “Kinara—its show time”. It turned out to be a real ‘a-ha!’ moment. The 150-minute programme showcased the team’s effort in trying some off beat nuances in a territory that so strictly guards its traditions. The participants transformed themselves on stage from elementary school kids and neo-learners to electrified performers. Small groups of kids and adults took turns on the stage to rapping music and movements while the audience smiled more and clapped feebly and few bobbed their heads and tapped their feet to the beat.
The Temple Town has been known for its conservative response to modern dance. When Dr.Kavitha Fenn, a psychiatrist, set out searching a few years ago for a good western dance school for her daughter, she did not have much of a choice. There were far and few and also not up to the satisfaction. But her daughter Nalina’s love for freestyle dancing made her stick on. In fact pushed by her daughter, Dr.Kavitha, a trained bharatanatyam dancer, too picked up the movements and both discovered their love for dance. So much so that after several rounds of discussions and prodding, they finally decided to set up their own and get the best trainers in town.
“Dance is a motivation, a kind of freedom,” says Dr.Kavitha Fenn. “It is a deep communication, sharing something you really like.”
“If it is not dancing then its not me any more,” says Dr.Kavitha, who gave up dancing for a decade post-marriage. Today, she has built up a hard working team consisting of company certified masters from Reebok trained in fitness exercises, hip hop and b-boying in Thailand, Bangalore and Mumbai and some of the best trainers in aqua aerobics and zumba from Tamil Nadu.
“Everybody is concentrating superbly. From our youngest to senior-most student, each has the spirit to dance,” she adds.
The masters worked very had and they deserve recognition for the show they put up.
It would be unfair to pick up a single favourite from the show that also drew much of its grand effect from costumes, lights and the choice of music – a fusion of Tamil, Hindi and English hit numbers. There were several moments to cling on to. From the old Hindi hit, “In aakhon ki masti…” improvised to a fast-paced sail, to the energetic bhangra or the popular “badtameez dil”, “yo yo honey singh”, “tumhi ho bandhu from Cocktail, pistah and google girls.
Even the innovative masala salsa to the tunes of “le le mazaa le”, the divas kathak to “o’re piya”, a three-hour broadway show compressed into a three-minute stirring performance that amazingly combined the elements of theatrical spectacle with music and dance, the vibrant zumba that zestfully synchronised the atoms (tiny particles) of dance and the youthful b-boying celebrated the evening. The gruelling physical displays that pulverised the eardrum and every dance-loving soul, ended with a mish-mash from the latest hit Chennai express.
The enthusiastic young and old participants, beginners, amateurs and professionals did their best to take the audience on a wild spin with elements of top rock, down rock, locking, rapping, power movements, freezes, dip and drops and exotic freaks to a variety of music in a range of tempo and beat patterns, Alas, only the Madurai audience did not match the performers’ cadence. In the business of dance, the city has come a long way but its people still have a long way to go!