Winning 1st 3 prizes for solo(s)/group(s) in Indian Dance Competitions for over a decade in our genre of specialization for non-voting Indian Dance Competitions sounds like a big thing. It actually isn’t if you follow curriculum and keep it fun. For us, it has been a norm for Bharatanatyam, Indian Folk Dances & Bollywood/Some Tollywood and from 2013-Fusion!
HOW ? We love to share how we have been winning from over a decade in all the “stage dance competitions” and how our elites have come this far with such good paid commitments.
So, here’s our HOW TO Win Indian Dance Competitions for Dummies…! Our Fool Proof guidelines and tips for those interested.
One of main attributes in stage competitions/for all genres are : Techniques. Techniques also means right amount of expressions required at certain techniques or mood used in the dance, coordination if group, comfort level of dancers with respect to dance, stage presence and personality, choreography, costumes, makeup and drama aspect. To do it right, you have to feel it and go through it which at Grace And Grooves is a norm! Because our owner herself comes from that background of competitions from over 2 decades! Read About Ms. Hetal Nagaraj.
To begin with, what are the types of dances ?
Be it Bharatanatyam, Indian folk dances or Bollywood/Movie inspired dances; usually these dances are non-commercial dances. For bollywood or tollywood dance industry genre, there is level of dance and name of dance as well. As we all know that bollywood dances emerge from various forms or styles or certain drama attributes and thus will always have name.
However, there are certain category of dances within bollywood that do not have name because they do no follow a form or style and are purely for entertainment or let’s just say – NO RULES thus, these dances makes them commercial dances and usually gets disqualified in first round itself if you do it in-spite of rules given. Open category of competitions usually accepts these for example – most reality show competitions are based on this! That dance industry/world is entirely different than education studio. Education world competitions are to encourage the dancer to follow the rules, get finer in it and excel with feedbacks and let’s just say prepare them for higher grounds of possibilities within the form or with fusions later, if trained. Then, break the rules-it is completely dancers wish and instructor’s wish! None-the-less, our students have won these open category dance competitions with their actual dance forms itself or with fusion depending on what is allowed. Usually it will depend on judges, number of rounds in competitions and students training level in that genre. Everything goes in there…
For Bharatanatyam/Classical Dances & indian folk dances, the category is always non-commercial and standard as it is dance form. Even for entertainment, creativity is out of this world if used within the form. Most classical dances are actual dance formats/margams itself and then there are dance dramas. Not to confuse with dance musicals!
There is this entire category of exclusive Indian Folk Dances that is entirely different than the dances that are into Community stage dances/cultural dances/regional dances/bollywood inspired folk dances/ethnic dances/creative folk dances. Why ? Because of rubrics of judging and rules that go with it is entirely different for both these categories. You cannot possibly compare Folk Dances rubrics to Bollywood or with Bharatanatyam. With Bollywood having different types of techniques and some folk dances do not even have expressions as their main factor. Likewise, Bharatanatyam nritta if done will lack several attributes of nritya or natyam itself. So rubrics are often kept in % by the genre or type of entries.
Depending on competitions, they categorize fusion dances or they put them in open category. Concept of fusion dances is very simple! Some go by dance done on other music to be considered as fusion because their argument is that if dance is not danced on its actual/real music then it is not that dance. That is true but if u do not consider music at all and see the dance without music; what will you name it? That raises lot of fundamental questions. So these occurrences have been very rare in over 10 years of history that we have participated. We had 2 such competitions that we came across in entire history of 10+ years where they had that kind of rule! We got 1st place in both anyway. The only argument to this was you cannot name that dance as fusion unless 2 or more dance form or styles are used. Rest are very clear about categories & thus you’ll know it well.
Then comes the judges. First experience is always a question for you because these competitions do not tell you who the judges are and some do not specify the rubrics either but when you test waters, you’ll know! We had tested some waters — we decided not to waste time there as they were bias to one team based on their friendly relations! Then be it that way, you should call only them!
Some competitions are very transparent to names of judges and their experiences and that is fun! Last but not the least, whether or not there it is any voting. If voting then how many % is counted towards total judging points. What age group we are competing in one category/genre is also important factor for stage like dances!!
Then comes, prize money if there is one or something of that sort. Then it is motivating for students who are doing competitions regularly or something of that equivalent value. Nobody wants a 10$ trophy after spending money on hours of practices, competition fees, costumes and that just adds to a collection without a meaning!
For us at Grace And Grooves, it has been other way round. Our students have earned more, earned bigger opportunties than what they put money in! It is just boring for our students who have competed from over 10 years now to go for $10 trophies without the meaning to it. They rather spend money 50 to 60$ and do shows with us where they know they are going to get recognition, feathers to wear that they can own as skill-set, showcase as their own, perks, discounts and many more fun things to take home. A beautiful memory to take home. Budget is very important factor too!
Alas, comes the winning part after all that! Most difficult & unpredictable of all!
Just like that you do not get the wins in 1st 3 places & $$$ prizes. Here are some standard points that we have come across for rubrics in judgement & we would absolutely love to share with you:
1. Expressions 40% depending on genre. Some genres strongly requires that this element isn’t the part of dance because of restrictions on costumes, mask, type of song/pure technique competitions, or certain type of dramas. so % is then distributed.
2. Techniques 50% & % is distributed
3. Comfort level of dance & body movements-rest % divided, solo or group and as per difficulty level.
4. Coordination to music-rest % divided, if solo or group.
6. Costumes-rest % divided
7. Makeup / Dramatic effects of dance : % is divided by genre.
7. Props & usages
8. Choreography and Innovation in dance form without losing genre category—-some competitions have this highest! some have these 2 seperate.
10. Culture aspect depending on dance (if required depending on competitions since we have been to some of most difficult & strict competitions too!!!)
Sounds easy ? See you there..!!!!
Congrats to all our elites Nirja Setty, Samarth Setty, Setty Siblings, Ashna Pethe, Hetal Nagaraj, and lot of our graduates who have won them through a decade as they grew with us by balancing not only personal life but studies too.
Check out their real dances & results as they have been doing it beautifully and gracefully like cute little swans! Click Here.
Read about these budding stars : Here.
See their dance trainings at : https://www.graceandgrooves.com/our-graduates
Our Performing Teams too have won several such auditions/competitions or are called for special paid appearances : https://www.graceandgrooves.com/our-performing-team
Do not forget to sign up or subscribe our Youtube Channel Playlists. You will find lot of videos of our competition students, recreational dances, party dances, margam dances for classical dances, audition videos, our program videos, media releases & videos of different age groups starting from 3.5 to 5 years onwards to Adults 50+, and many more!!! Do not miss the Teenagers tribute of fun dances they do.
Exclusive Copyrights by Reachh Mediaa for Hetal Joshi Nagaraj| Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves | Nruthyakala Dance Academy | Mirchi Dance Academy | Kalasri Classical Dance Academy : 2012-2020.
This material can not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Anantha Dance Production Series…………..
Anantha-1, a dance production series showcasing beauty, elegance, creativity, as well as infinite possibilities of Bharatnatyam, Indian Folk Dances, Rabindra Nruthya, Manipuri And Kathak. All of this without forsaking fundamentals.
Idea of Anantha was implanted in 2018 January when we had faced some challenges that opened doors to other possibilities.
First announcements were made to public in various medias from Nov 2, 2018 and onwards. Every year it just happens that as Grace And Grooves LLC plan their annual programs/recitals and they come out so beautiful that it ends up in dance productions with and without dance-musical dramas.
But the idea of dance recital was not enough for Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Students after getting ready for 30-45 mins with all that make-up and costume. These students were to be taught the possibilities within the dance form and show it off separately. So, Anantha Production Series it was!
With straight background comes unlimited (Anantha) creativity. Thus, the name of “Anantha” was given to this dance production series with each dance showcasing unlimited possibilities in each dance forms. The name and concept is inspired from several dance production houses or dance institutes like that of her mom, own teachers, formal gurus, dance exponents such as Daksha V Joshi, Mrinalini Sarabhai, Daksha M Joshi, Tanjore Brothers Original Margam, Kalakshetra Foundation, Natyavihar Kalakendra. This intense training of over 34 years has given a shape to Hetal’s own dance creations within exclusive Indian Dance Forms such as Bharatanatyam and Indian Folk Dances. Some dances have also received exclusive copyright permissions to republish under the name of Hetal Nagaraj and some have received competition awards early this year and years before as well.
Anantha opened its door with Anantha-1 in 2019 to begin with on Jan 27, 2019 at Plano Courtyard Theater, Plano, Texas, USA from 330 PM to 730 PM and was a houseful event. The event was an introduction event to her elite students such as Ashna Pethe and The Setty Siblings who are in advance trainings from years now and Rinku Das-a budding artist of Dallas-Forth, Texas. These students roughly danced for more than 2 hours. In Anantha, their intern choreographers, performing teams got every opportunity to be creative under the supervision, direction of Hetal Nagaraj and yet feel challenged without forsaking fundamentals of each dance form. All of it with full safety on practicing it in the right way. It is not about perfection, it is about doing it right.
Hetal Nagaraj is artistic director of Grace And Grooves LLC. This is her 4th dance program in a row showcasing A Grade Indian Dance Productions with each dance as a reflection of her experiences, trainings and now the degrees. It has been peculiarity of Hetal that her dances include Nritta, Natya and Nruthya as its basic components with balance of Tandav and Lasyam. Each dance of her has a name to define with its subject in the dance along with dance themes that are full of life, happiness, thankfulness, blessings and above all beautiful costumes that she herself designs. But, Anantha-1 is Hetal Nagaraj’s VERY FIRST exclusive dance production for Indian Dance Forms and A Tribute to Rabindranath Tagore Famous Literature and Poems which as a matter of fact matched to our production name. All the students had so much fun learning and practicing for Anantha-1 during their regular class hours itself and no additional class is required. It is not like you pay, you get to be part of it, and be done with it. It is what they have learned, they’ll showcase.
No outside students were allowed to perform or take trainings or as part of freelance dancers. Even the guest artists are/were students of Grace And Grooves LLC enrolled in their exclusive programs. Anantha Dance Production Series is about Grace And Grooves LLC students and their team only. Hetal Nagaraj selects them for this dance production and not everybody is able to make it to her list.
We will always had a special guests like this time we had Rinku Das who will do their own dances and stick to our themes or request with their team or solo but they are our special guests.
From students who wanted the thrill got it covered along with students who wanted the fun of natyam alone still staying in their respective dance forms.
Who said dance forms are boring..Not at Grace And Grooves!
Congratulations to Students Samarth Setty(Age 11) and Tejawini(Adults) for completing their entire Bharatanatyam Margam in Anantha-1 by performing under the strict supervision, instruction and guidance of Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj. This was made possible by dancing back to back for straight 3 hours from Pushpanjali, Allaripu, Jatiswaram, Thillana, Group-Shabdam, Creative Bharatanatyam, Copyright Bharatanatyam Dance Pieces, and Rabindra Nruthya as well. This also means, that it can be very much called their own arangetram, if they choose not to do it as solo arangetrams, separately.
This is Hetal Nagaraj’s 2nd round of completion of full margam from start to finish by teaching it to various students. At Grace And Grooves, we aim to make sure you understand everything you see while we are just doing our job.
Every beautiful thing under this sky has a name and so do the dances.
From the thrill of nritta, beauty as in lasyam, fun of natyam, devotion as in bhakti and tapasya as in training, power as in shakti of tandav and possibilities as in Anantha- the infinite and we are still in same dance form when we do it right!
Anantha-1 Dance Production was made possible by Dhamaal Events in association with Grace Effects ( Gopal S and Dinesh Kumar for photography and videography services).
Big Shout Out To These Young Teenagers who had their paid student assignments at Anantha-1. Aditya Sangole as our Sound Technician and Emcee Yashika Nabar for our Dance Production Anantha-1.
Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi Nagaraj| Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves | Nruthyakala Dance Academy | Mirchi Dance Academy | Kalasri Classical Dance Academy : 2012-2019.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
#hetaljoshim #graceandgrooves #ananthaseries
Grace And Grooves – Student Of The Year
This section of Blog is exclusively dedicated to all our students’ achievements with Grace And Grooves LLC. These are the students who take every opportunity to excel not only as part of team work but also as part of their individual growth and performances in their respective dance forms or types (if Bollywood-Movie Dances!). These students take regular classes just like all the other students but the only thing they do differently is identify the opportunities given to them by their teachers and make the best use of it. We also like to call them swans.
These students of Grace And Grooves are the examples of achieving balance in life, elegance, and beautiful results that you get with proper training at the right time from all the right people! There is no short-cuts to learning any dance forms/types. If you want to do it then you will do it, no matter what life throws at you! Times when they had lemons around, these students have made a lemonade and nailed it! All pictures below are subject to change if parents send us more pictures 🙂
2018-2019 : Aanya Kocchar :
- Ms. Aanya Kocchar joined Grace And Grooves as an exclusive Bharatnatyam Student in 2015 when we started teaching structured Bharatnatyam Program at Lewisville, Texas under the guru-shishya parampara with Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj exclusively.
When it comes to balancing life with education, performing arts and all the other activities that kids have to take up today just to achieve normal expectancy as per school curriculum, it has never been easy!
As per our Student of the year criteria, she has been an excellent role model to all our younger Bharatanatyam dancers who will look upon her an example going forward. Never Give Up because learning an art-form is never easy and there are NO SHORT-CUTS.
Aanya has performed with Grace And Grooves in several in-house dance productions with her exclusive Bharatnatyam Dances without forsaking fundamentals of her own art-form Bharatanatyam for all our recitals, community events as well as exclusively Hetal Nagaraj’s dance productions.
Her notable dances are Bharatnatyam Nruthyam-Gujarati Sahitya Dance Duet (Literature) and Hetal Nagaraj’s Master Degree university level work of exclusive Bharatnatyam-Pushpanjali, and Allaripu(main margam items). She continues to learn her next level in Bharatnatyam at Lewisville, Texas with Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj and is now a 5th Grader. We are so proud of you!
- She receives $200 worth of services from our partners and friend-businesses to excel in her interest in the journey of Bharatanatyam. One Step At A Time, Nice And Easy.
- Updated : Jan 11, 2019.
2017-2018 : Samarth Setty
- His first dance was a valentine dance with girl at the age of 3.5 where he showed his ability to act, dance & make people laugh/smile by showing his natural dance skills, dance etiquettes that were taught to him by his Montessori teachers.
- Stage presence was natural to him just like his sister.
- Our little macho man had his struggles of taking breaks in learning dance because of his birth weight, body type but he never gave up.
- From a husky body type to making his body a lean-mean fat-burning machine, he has amazed us of what he could do with proper training, discipline and diet plans that his mom prepares for him.
- His official journey of dance training in Indian Folk Dances started at the age of 6, Bharatnatyam at the age of 7, Bollywood at the age of 7 and then he never looked back! Prior to these years, he would appear on stage as side/back stage-dancer.
- Amongst all our girls, at times he is the only Krishna, Shiva, captain, our Rahul who comes to save the day for lot of our group dances even when he is not dancing for full song. At times he is not instructed of what he needs to do except for dance steps if they were to match with group..it comes out naturally to him, without training and knowledge of dance forms/styles.(Environment)
- From group dance dramas to Solo(s) in Bharatnatyam, Indian Folk Dances and Bollywood/Movie Dances, he has done it all. He has successfully performed, competed and won competitions as solo artist from 2nd place to 3rd place with only 1 hour a week of dance lessons.
- His training teachers are : Buvaneshwari Murugan(Jatiswaram, Ganesh Kavtuvam) & Hetal Nagaraj (Pushpanjali, Allaripu, Jatiswaram, Thillana, Shabhdam, Bho-Shamboo and several dance dramas from Gujarati Literature to Telugu Literature) for Bharatanatyam, Indian Folk Dances-Hetal Nagaraj, Bollywood-Hetal Nagaraj and Mansi Chauhan.
- His workshops include : Intermediate-Advance Workshop with Shakti Mohan-2015.
- He is a perfect example of perseverance, inherited natural talent, stage presence and a best example for kids who feel like giving up, only because of body-type.
- He receives photo-shoots worth $250, competition discounts and several other perks from our participating businesses.
- Updated-Feb 13, 2018.
Ashna Pethe – 2016-2017
- From recreational dancer(Age-10) to now our elite team dancer and this years’ 1st
prize winner in Non-Classical-Category(Bollywood). Lewisville-Texas. Now 13.
- Locations of Workshops, Performances & Competitions : Southlake-Texas, Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas, Plano-Texas, Carrollton-Texas.
- Ashna won A $200 gift hamper that includes a photo-shoot and a FREE professional profiling and several free perks from Grace And Grooves LLC.
- A perfect example of no short-cuts to success and yet balancing it beautifully with unbeatable graceful performances.
- She has bagged 1st place in non-classical category and has cleared several competitions in state of Texas. (Update-September 29, 2017).
- Ashna dances 1-2 hours a week Bollywood at Elite Level w/Elite Team for Grace And Grooves, paid and unpaid performances.
- She has taken advance workshops with Hetal Nagaraj, Mansi Chauhan And Shakti Mohan for Indian Folk Dances, Professional Bharatnatyam, Professional Kathak and Contemporary.
Diya Kadiyala, 2015-2016.
- First Indian Folk Dance Solo Artist under the age of 5 (under official company name Grace And Grooves other than Nirja Setty) successfully performed 3.2 minute of Indian Folk Dance. Twice!!
- Audience : 100 People. Selected/Cleared Auditions for 2 different competitions in 2015. Irving-Texas. Age 4.5. Now 6.
- Locations of Performances : Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Frisco-Texas.
- You are a perfect example of following directions just as taught at such a young age that too in Indian Folk Dances.
- Diya took Free private classes(2) worth $50 during the regular classes. A Free costume rental on our elite line of costumes and a waive off on registration fees for second year. ($30).
Nirja Setty, 2014-2015.
- Winner of 6 (now 6) technique focused Indian Dance Competitions in Indian Folk Dances, Fusion and Bharatnatyam(2016).
- Nirja won Free Costumes and Jewelry from one of our friend-sponsors worth $100. Free Tickets to concert-$30.
- A girl known to challenge judges’ knowledge in competitions as compared to her age group. Irving, Lewisville-Texas. Age 9. NOW 11.
- You are a perfect example of perfect expressions/looks in Indian Performing arts-anytime a picture is taken and yet it just as graceful and beautiful. All of this with a beautiful balance in life!
- Her average competition prize money amounted to $200-$300 by 2015 in various school competitions for Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dances.
- Nirja regularly dances 1-hour a week in : Bharatnatyam(in 2 styles), Bollywood and Indian Folk Dances with Hetal Nagaraj and Alpana Jacob (outside Grace And Grooves LLC).
- Locations of Workshops, Performances & Competitions : Southlake-Texas, Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas, Plano-Texas, Carrollton-Texas, Allen-Texas, Coppell-Texas, Grapevine-Texas, Flowermound-Texas, Arlington-Texas.
- She has taken advance workshops with Mansi Chauhan, Hetal Nagaraj and Shakti Mohan for Professional Kathak and Contemporary. She has also danced National Level Competition Fogana 2013 w/Indu Mangrola-Sursangam Dance Company.
Srinija Burra, 2013-2014 :
- Outstanding Recreational Indian Folk Dance Artist – (Solo) Recreational Folk Program.
- Audiences from 100 to 500 People. Irving-Texas. Age 6. NOW 11.
- Srinija won Free Customized Costumes from our elite line of costumes and Free Tickets to performances worth $75.
- Won competitions with Grace And Grooves LLC as in group for Indian Folk Dances held Dallas-Texas at Coppell-Texas, Plano-Texas, Allen-Texas.
- Locations of Performances & Competitions : Southlake-Texas, Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas, Plano-Texas, Carrollton-Texas, Allen-Texas, Coppell-Texas, Grapevine-Texas, Flowermound-Texas, Arlington-Texas.
- Selected in several auditions and competitions for Solos. Selected by several media and top-notch family/event/corporate-dance and professional photographers for individual profiling/close-ups during our community performances without our telling them or informing them. She was also part of Fusion team being an avid gymnasts student. Click here :
- You are a perfect example of perfect expressions/looks anytime a picture is taken and yet it just as graceful and beautiful.
Congratulations to ALL our students of the year!
Thank you for working hard with us…
This post will be updated once a year. Our year goes from August To May.
Post Updated History : Published First on this Blog in September 25, 2017.
Pictures posted above are either past or present students of Grace and Grooves & their pictures are shared based on their exclusive photo sharing rights and approved by parents when shared/transferred to Grace And Grooves for the purpose of Grace and Grooves ONLY.
Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2019. This material cannot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
A Note to Competition Organizers and Everybody Else :
As such we have won several competitions but we have only accounted in our bags that we have done it independently ourselves and have judges who are qualified in field of Indian Performing Arts-who know what to look for in dance forms or styles, if mentioned likewise.
- Competitions in partnership with other dance schools/teachers are NOT INCLUDED in our list.
- Competitions where voting criteria is 10/100 or more at any levels are not included in our list. You are welcome to take freelance lessons from us but we will not participate in voting.
- Judges who do not have any knowledge of dance or cannot outline the difference between simple things such as bollywood vs folk, fusion vs bollywood, and so on! If you do not know the rules of dance form then there is no point in judging.
- Participant Awards are NOT listed or considered for us-obviously and that includes students who get participant awards during competitions just for participating and not winning competitions for any runner ups awards either.
- Wins at the Competitions that misrepresented categories/competitions/malrepresentation by the organizers are NOT listed.
- Eg-Represented as Indian FOLK Competition but it was actually a Bollywood Competition and so they are NOT LISTED HERE. We have won such competitions as well.
- Only legitimate competitions are listed.
- We DO NOT teach Tap/Jazz/Ballet. Students who took part in fusion dances that included tap/jazz or ballet were trained from Ballet Academy of Texas(Coppell) and Prestige Dance Company(Lewisville-former Coppell Dance Center)for 2months+ or were already avid trained dancers or good gymnasts.
- We taught them only Indian Classical Dance(Bharatnatyam)or Indian Folk Dance and the Fusion work to go together based on what they knew.
- Some competitions are listed together as only 1 award was given for consecutive years win or in same year as prizes had material gifts/or gift cards for participants or same work received awards in 2 different places by different participants or same participants. There was only 1 ceremony for awards that happened.
- Competitions where –>
- Students are neglected, mis-treated, insulted by organizers are NOT worth of our time. We will pass their info-you are welcome to compete but keep us out of it.
- Organizers are in favor of other dance schools and allowed several re-takes to them but not to us-for no good reason are NOT worth our time. We DO NOT want children to go through that traumatic experiences.
- Students are questioned about their well-being priorities only because organizer couldn’t see the child winning in-spite of stopping the vote entries are NOT worth of your child’s time.
- Organizers that offer inappropriate stage areas, dressing room areas or unsafe dance conditions are eliminated from our list for any future participations due to SAFETY GUIDELINES concerning child’s safety. We don’t come there to dance in 5-8 steps of stage area.
- A stage or organizer who cannot respect a child’s presence while talking just about anything that they have in mind insulting kids and their parents whatsoever, esp. talking in extremely loud voice and misbehaving in front of children because you couldn’t handle pressures (while others were allowed to do same-all drama in front of child)-is not worth our attention.
Please learn your manners FIRST when you treat a child. Stop treating them like trash — this tells us about your parenting! Not our parents’.
- An organizer who is bias to us in all the privileges given to other participants will not need our attention at any given point of time.
- If you have made up your mind in not allowing us to avail the privileges then why should we make kids suffer through your misconduct and inappropriate behavior just for a trophy ?
Constructive feedbacks are very welcomed. We have come this far only because of constructive feedbacks.
All of above are NOT sarcastic humor incidents and are ruled out by experiences in recent competitions and we do not want any child to face such a traumatic experience just for a competition!
Our kids/students are very precious to us.
Other Blog Posts where such a traumatic incident happened : Read Here.
Stop blaming parents and kids for your own issues. Open Stats @Cqunce Inc.
This post was updated in May 15, 2019.
Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2019.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
About Darpana Academy of Performing Arts of (Ahmedabad-India) & Trainings :
1949 : Darpana was established as a dance academy by Mrinalini and Vikram Sarabhai. For nearly two decades it taught classical dance.(1949-1969). With Mrinalini as the lead dancer, and Chatunni Panicker as her partner, the Darpana dance company toured across the world. A few years later the great Kuchipudi guru, C R Acharyelu joined the faculty.
1960s : Darpana added departments of Gujarati theatre and puppetry under the inspired direction of Kailash Pandya, Damini Mehta and Meher Contractor. These departments taught and had performing groups that established names for themselves. Gujarati theatre was revived as was the folk form of Bhavai, and many other declining forms from across the country. The Andhra shadow puppets found a new lease of life.
1970s : Thousands of students were studying BharataNatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Vocal and Instrumental Carnatic music, Puppetry, Bhavai and Modern Theatre. Many of the faculty members got involved in using the arts to tackle every day issues and prejudices. And Darpana grew.
1977s : Mallika Sarabhai took over as Honorary Directory.
1980s : Darpana for Development was established to focus attention on creating behavior change communication through the arts with Kailash Pandya and Mallika taking the lead. Government departments, Ministries and other non governmental agencies began partnering D for D to educate the public in issues of health, education and empowering women. Over the next two decades D for D became the fastest growing segment of Darpana, creating powerful communication that reached hearts and minds.
1994s : Darpana’s Amphitheatre Natarani, Gujarat’s only state-of-the-arts venue came into existence to give local audiences the opportunity to see world class performance, and to give artists a platform to build on. Each year Natarani presents close to 80 events, including dance performances, concerts, plays, cultural programs and films. Natarani’s café offers young writers, poets or music groups its space to hold informal performances, jam sessions and readings. The open gallery space allows Natarani to host thematic events encompassing live performances, craft demonstrations and sale, sculpture and painting exhibitions and specialty food at the café go with the theme.
1999s : When Darpana turned 50, all the Founder’s dreams had been fulfilled and over 20000 students had streamed through the institution. In a major reorganization, the teaching of the arts were put on a back burner and new collaborations, technological innovations and the use of the arts for social change took center stage.
2001s : Yadavan Chandran started Darpana Communications to explore the use of television and film for social change. Over the next decade the department produced and broadcast more than 2000 hours of programming, much of it path breaking in its innovative use of audience participation and in using popular genres to introduce taboo subjects. Recently Darpana for Development and Darpana Communications were merged to become Darpana for Change.
2014 & onwards : Revanta Sarabhai took charge of the teaching wing, the Conservatory, to revitalize it. This department now runs short and long term courses in classical dance and music, theatre, martial arts and a variety of other forms.
Natarani hosts seven major international festivals every year:
* Sunday to Sunday Theatre Festival – October 5 to 12
* Naada Music Festival – November 13-16
* Women at Work Festival – November 28-30
* InterArt, The Vikram Sarabhai International Arts Festival – Dec 28-30
* Cinema of Resistance – January 23-26 . .
* Festival of Nonviolence – Jan 30-Feb 2
* Celebrating the World of Dance – Apr 1-6
Over the last 20 years of it’s existence, Natarani has presented performers like Aditi Mangaldas, Amjad Ali Khan, Anahita Uberoi, Anupam and Kiron Kher, Anuradha Kapur, Astad Deboo, Atul Kumar, the Auroville Dance Company, the Cartoon Sardine Theatre, Fazal Qureishi, the Garlic Puppet Group, Javed Akhtar, Louis Banks, Shivamani, Niladrikumar, Mynta, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Rahul Bose, Ramdas Padhye, Raman Kutty Nair, Daksha Sheth, Rohini Hattangady, Ronnie Govender, Shabana Azmi, Shovana Narayan, Shubha Mudgal, Tom Alter, Usha Ganguli, Vibha Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Indian Ocean, Deepti Naval, Nandita Das, Zohra Sehgal and many others.
No other private arts institution in India had the facilities available at Natarani. The campus, the theatre, the artists, the technical equipment, the rehearsal rooms, the library of books, music and videos, the workshop, and perhaps most significantly the mind set. This made it unique for opening it out to the artists and creators of the world who wanted to break out of technique bound institutional or performance set ups and have the possibility of working with artists of different trainings, nationalities, sensibilities and goals.
Grace And Grooves thanks Darpana Academy of Performing Arts for sharing their beautiful journey of performing arts under the leadership of Guru Smt.Mrinalini Sarabhai and Guru Smt.Mallika Sarabhai. This as well reflects in quality, technique focused environment pertaining to style or form and above all-commitment and discipline to form/style.
The above article is being submitted by Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad-India to Grace And Grooves to provide knowledge about institute’s premier setup in Ahmedabad-India. Ms. Hetal Nagaraj has taken several trainings (1999, 2000, 2015) in various Indian Folk Dances, Puppetry and Gujarati Theatre at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts from some of the most renowned artist that visit the institute for teaching their speciality. Some of these choreography and conceptual works were also performed before and after Grace And Grooves was registered with state of Texas as a LLC and were reproduced as direct replica of her trainings at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts(Ahmedabad). While a few of the choreography work-ideas from Darpana students’ showcases (of 1999, 2000, and 2001) have inspired Mrs.Nagaraj to use the very same in Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and other Classical Fusion works (Kalakshetra Style or with multiple styles of Bharatnatyam, and Kathak). All with required trainings without forsaking fundamentals, practical approach and creativity.
Be it for fun or competition–it is all about what you take home once the training is done.
We, at Grace And Grooves choose to provide the very same quality, commitment and creativity without forsaking the fundamentals of dance forms or styles. Students are taught to practically apply choreography work in their specified dance forms or styles and Indian dance categories(if-competitions). Knowledge of various vedas, shastras, epics versions, access to culture books, translations and history books are open to students who would like to study in-depth. Fusion works, musical theatre are taught in their own category of dance forms or styles. It is due to hard work and in-depth interest, that Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj has gained some of the finest knowledge and books from various parts of India during her extensive travels all over India for her education in various fields(including dance) and for the love of travel! While some books and mentorship were gifts from her dance guru(s), instructor(s) and Sanskrit professors at various institutes/universities/department of tourism(state & India) or performing arts related associations.
When you take Indian Folk Dance Classes from Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj in Dallas-Texas, the history of culture with related Indian Folk Dance variations, styles, costume & prop- guidelines, with required rules associated with dance form or style is very much part of program as per region and state wise – Both! Props making(if not available in market) & puppetry(-includes making them-) is also taught wherever applicable; knowledge of which she has inherited from her own mother who was volunteer teacher in local drama plays and schools in which folk dances were prominently showcased as part of entertainment on regular basis.
Her drama-plays included a full routine of dance performances in Indian Folk Dances on Indian festivals and subjects such Ram Leela, Krishnasthami(Janmashtami), Shivratri, Onam, Sankrant(Makar Sankranti), Dussehra(with 9 days decors), Women’s Empowerment, Diwali Decors, Christmas Plays, Lezim, Lavani and many others to include which are taught today also at Grace And Grooves Indian Folk Dance Classes or Musical Theatre (wherever applicable, as per need) as part of various programs.
Possibilities are endless with trainings as they come with practical safety guidelines for each form or style. This allows you to showcase endless creativity and still stay within the form or style.
For No Dance Was Ever Made To Harm And Dance Is Beautiful With Creativity!
Just don’t forget what you were dancing out there in the name of creativity.
This above timeline was submitted by Darpana Academy about Darpana Academy to Grace And Grooves. September 2015.
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