Shiamak Davar’s winter warmer

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Bollywood dance group’s Winter Funk event warms the soul

It was all bling and Bollywood tadka as Shiamak Group Brisbane strutted their stuff at their recent Winter Funk event.

The Shiamak Group Brisbane has been running successfully for the past year and a half at two centres, Runcorn and Nundah. Age is no barrier, with students ranging from as young as four to fifty-plus, and with a healthy mix of the sexes.

After last year’s extravaganza, the Brisbane students took to the stage again at the Ambrose Treacy College Auditorium, delighting the audience with the glitz, glamour and chutzpah of Bollywood.

They had spent the last six months dedicating their Sundays to learning different styles of dance. These classes are “one of a kind” training program for students, teaching trademark dance styles like Shiamak Style Contemporary, Shiamak’s Bollywood Jazz and Shabop.

During the workshop, students are taught a complete dance routine and trained in the various disciplines of stage performance.

The students enjoy a complete “performing arts” experience – the excitement, rehearsals, team work, discipline, professionalism and most of all, performance.

The dressing rooms were abuzz with excitement just before curtains. The dancers all resonated the same thought: they had butterflies in their stomachs but they couldn’t wait to rock the stage! The camaraderie was all but obvious, as they helped each other with hair and make-up. This was one bunch of students who didn’t want to outshine each other but ensure that all of them as a team could give their best performance!

On stage, it was a spectacular array of dance styles, from Jazz Beats to Contemporary to Afro by the mind-blowing Shiamak Davar International team, led by Vihang Nikalje (General Manager, Shiamak Australia) and Darshan Pawar (instructor). The costumes, energy and vibrance on stage was amazing. The speed with which costume and backdrop changes were accomplished, was impressive. The audience experience was no less than watching those glam award shows on television!

After this incredible performance it was time for the Shiamak Brisbane Students to show their substance. Not to be outshined by the International Team, Shiamak’s favourite age category (‘the stars of tomorrow’ as he calls them) lit up the stage. Brisbane’s tiny ‘Shiamaksters’ were not to be left behind as they performed to Kamli, Dhoom machale, Engine ki seeti, Indiawale and Ranvir ching. The littlies, it turned out, had the best costumes. The girls in their shiny golden halter tops with glittering skirts, and the boys in their golden vests and sparkly red dhotis, were simply adorable. The Kamli dance had the pre-teens doing a very quick costume change on stage into denim jackets and sunglasses to look the part for Dhoom machale and they finished the song of with hoola hoops as their props. The transitions were quick and expertly executed by the girls. Better watch out, Katrina and Kareena!

The grooves continued in Shiamak style with everything from Rajasthani style Tharki chokro to the latest Bollywood mash-up Suraj doobaa and Dance basanti.   The ghagra cholis left the stage awash with colour, and the red matkas only enhanced the performance. The tops for the Bollywood mashup, it was revealed, were inspired by a top worn on stage by Priyanka Chopra at a recent IIFA award ceremony.

The finale had all performers on stage gyrating to Lovely, Baby doll, Jhume ki raat and Satakli, leading into the audience to shake everyone’s bootiya.

From student performers to the more experienced performers from the Shiamak Davar International Group, the afternoon was full of energy, excitement, dance, glamour, glitz and talent. The audience cheered incessantly, hooting and whistling in appreciation.

At the end, the students received participation certificates. Varad Raval thanked the sponsors for heling make the event possible, the parents for spending their Sundays making sure kids attended classes, and the students for their efforts. Vasan Srinivasan, the immediate past president of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV) was also present. He motivated the Brisbane students to continue their dance journey and to keep aiming for higher accomplishments. There was also mention of expanding the academy i.e. opening a centre in Perth and expanding out to New Zealand.

Shiamak Davar’s philosophy of “Have Feet, Will Dance” was once again proved at this spectacular Winter Funk. Not everyone who performed was a trained dancer, but everyone had a fantastic attitude towards dance – there was teamwork, and plenty of enthusiasm!