Cavalcade of dance styles exposes student talent

Venkat Raman

Residents of the Wellington region will have a rare opportunity of witnessing a programme of classical and modern dances next week.

Shivam Dance Academy New Zealand is organising the event called, ‘Let’s Dance,’ at the Memorial Theatre, Victoria University on Saturday, July 8, 2017.

More than 50 students aged between 4 and 70 years will participate in the annual event.

Embracing cultures

Parita Bose (Pathak), Director and Principal said that since its relaunch in 2016 after a two-year break, Shivam Dance Academy aims to embrace different cultures and present them in dance form.

“The institution attempts to enhance Indian culture and encourage younger members of our communities to participate and learn through the process,” she said.

Different dance styles

Parita said that her students enjoy the curriculum, which includes folk dances of India including the Bhangra and the Garbha, Classical dance forms like Bharata Natyam and Kathak, Western music such as Latin, Jazz and Hip Hop and song and dance sequences from Hindi films.

“I like to work with the strength of people and help them to overcome their weaknesses,” Parita said.

Students must appear for examinations that include detailed theory which describes the purpose behind every move.

“I love receiving feedback from students or their parents who say the classes made them overcome confidence issues, stress and depression.”

With several external tutors visiting the Academy and conducting workshops, Shivam Dance Academy aims to prepare students for optional performances including the upcoming academy’s Annual Dance Production.

Artistic Kathak

Having worked with renowned Bollywood dancers and celebrities and provided production support to a variety of events, Parita is recognised for her skills in Kathak.

“The origin of Kathak is traditionally attributed to the traveling bards of ancient Northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. Starting from a basic level, Kathak classes are divided into various levels as the year progresses and students develop their awareness of space, body and rhythm,” she said.

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