The popular Prince Dance Group from Berhampur in Odisha, comprising 17 people, most of who worked as daily wage earners in farms and in the construction sector, arrived here on Wednesday with their unique brand of contemporary dance.

The troupe, which has fired the imagination of dance-lovers across India and in parts of the world like the Middle East, will perform at a shopping mall in the city on Independence Day.

They shot to fame after the troupe emerged on top in a television reality show in 2009. The 20-member troupe, led by choreographer T. Krishna Mohan Reddy, has not looked back after their surprise win in the competition. The team arrived here under the leadership of Rajkumar Tripathi, a student of Bachelor of Arts at the Khalikote College, Berhampur. He said his troupe members had turned into professional dancers after their win in the reality show.

When it was pointed out that a lot of people from Odisha worked in Kochi, he said the troupe might find some time to meet them though he declined to commit to a special programme for them.

The troupe members are drawn from the most ordinary of households. For example, Munna Rana, who is continuing his BA studies, did odd jobs, including masonry, along with his studies until he joined the troupe for the reality show. That was when he was a Plus Two student.

He says he has not looked back after the troupe’s success and is a happy young man eager to entertain dance enthusiasts in Kochi.

Sudam Rana, again a student pursuing his graduation studies, says he worked on farm lands for daily wages before joining the Prince troupe. Now he is a professional dancer, who is enjoying his life’s calling.

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