Worx of art on stage

HE was the best outstanding student in school. He was a gold medalist in college. He got the best dancer award from Shiamak Davar while passing out from the Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts earlier this year. On Sunday, he hosted his 500th show at the Don Bosco School, Egmore where he made 300 dancers make a bow in front of an audience of about 4000 people of all age groups.

And not many would believe that J. A. John Britto is only 24 years of age! If last year's Artworx show announced to the city that he had arrived in style, this year's Soul 2 Sole, Feet 2 Feat show of the city's leading dance school, should crown him the man who can make even a tot dance.

He did. He actually put 3-4 year olds from Schramm Academy on stage and extracted a performance from them that had every single person in the hall bringing his/her hands together for what was probably the loudest applause of the evening as the tots tapped their toes away.

It was a feast for dance-lovers right from the word `Go' But that happened half an hour late as jittery event managers let in the audience of hundreds through one narrow door with the seats on `first-come first-served' clause on the tickets, resulting in chaos outside the hall.

But once the show started, all that bitterness was forgotten as the stage was invaded by the likes of `Teenagers', `John Britto Jr. Dance Company', `Sweetheart's Club' as the students were categorised.

The most memorable parts of the two and half hour show were the performances by John Britto Jr. Dance Company (JBJDC)-their medleys of `Kaho Na Pyar Hai'(KNPH) and `Alai Payuthey' won the little Sachin and Pallavi fan-clubs. Yes, the audience went chanting `Sach-in, Sach-in' as did a Hrithik jig in the KNPH medley, not to forget the duet with Pallavi for `Tum Jano Na Hum'.

There were lil' Tarzan's wooing lil' Janes to the Aqua number as tots pranced around `tapori' style to `Apun Bola' and `Aati Kya Khandala'.

The teenagers were their usual picture perfect co-ordination with all that experience of their previous shows coming good-a highlight was the Latin American number `Salomi' where they were all grace.

The second half kickstarted with `Ishq Bina', Loyolites getting into the act with `We will rock you', hip-hop `Daddy Cool' performance by the JBJDC, Lou Bega's `I gotta girl', Shaan's `Loveology' (Earlier, there was Satish going Karaoke to Shaan's latest `Tanha Dil') and the finale Rahman's Vande Mataram.

The show ended with all the thanksgiving and feel-good rhetoric as Britto with his 300 dancers on stage said `Goodbye.'

After nearly ten minutes, John Britto decided to let people leave as the dancers slowly got off the stage. Art worked!

By Sudhish Kamath