Dance

From Chennai streets to World of Dance

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Chennai’s Born From A Boombox crew looks back at the journey that led them to World Of Dance and ‘Power Of Desi Street’

“It isn’t just a dance crew, it’s a legacy and our family,” says Ravi Verma, founder, director and choreographer of B-FAB — Born From A Boombox, the dance crew that represented India at World Of Dance and, more recently, ‘Power Of Desi Street’ (PODS).

From dancing in parks and streets to performing on the world’s biggest stage, the journey for B-FAB has been long. “We didn’t even have a proper studio or a place to practise. We eat, sleep and practise at the Anna Nagar Tower park, and at one point it became our home,” says crew member Navalarasan Baskar, when we meet at United Grooves Dance Studio, Anna Nagar.

B-FAB has its origins in the streets of Chennai. The core crew has seven members (Navalarasan Baskar, Jude Peter, Rajavarman Murugan, Rohith Vivekanandan, Anish Govindaraj, Naveen Charles Isaac and Raja Ram) who compete in every competition. The whole B-FAB crew, however, has over 30 dancers. Each dancer has their own inspiration, and their craze for dance began from childhood.

“I had many dancers as my inspiration, but there is no one like Ravi anna. He is a person with a good heart, talented and a mentor,” says Rohith enthusiastically, only to be interrupted by Isaac. “He is like our father, brother and a friend. He even helps us with our personal issues.”

From Chennai streets to World of Dance

“Members are selected not only on the basis of dancing skills, but also their daily routine, interest towards dance, and how committed they are towards the team,” says Ravi. According to him, the success of a team is based on three key factors: obedience, contribution and discipline.

Highs and lows

After the loss of their first competition Shock a couple of years ago, Ravi had taken a break from the team. In fact, he says, he forgot that B-FAB even existed. But the crew made a colossal comeback six months later, when they won a silver medal in PODS’ first edition. After that, the team gained hope and participated in HIP HOP Unite India, where they finished second. Gradually, they started participating in a number of other dance competitions, including World Of Dance’s Las Vegas edition, where they represented India in the finals. The team also gained fame through Kings of Dance — they were semi-finalists in both seasons.

When asked about participating in all five editions of PODS, they said that they’ll never stop competing in PODS because of the quality of competition: they get to learn more about how other teams work, and what their capacity is. B-FAB won the third and fifth editions of PODS.

“All those sleepless nights, sweat, punishments are worth it when we hold the trophy,” say Rohith and Anish. And there were plenty of those: Navalarasan states that the most arduous period of his life was when Ravi handed the team to him, and said that if they didn’t win PODS third edition, he might dissolve the whole team.

From Chennai streets to World of Dance

“That one month was frenzied and hectic. We used to be punished if we came late by even two minutes. We used to do 100 push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups each, a 10-kilometre run, 10 minutes of hand-stand and 10 minutes of wall-sit continuously as punishment,” add Rajaram.

The team’s main motto, they say, is to make dance an education for everyone.

“It should be easily accessible. People should enjoy seeing us. That is our main aim and that is why we dance,” Ravi signs off.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:29:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/from-chennai-streets-to-world-of-dance/article27414750.ece

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