Bling, beats and Bollywood warm up the audience at Shiamak’s annual winter funk, writes Simmi Bakshi
Shiamak’s dancing stars gave a new definition to the word ‘winter-warmers’, with their spectacular performance at the Winter Funk 2013. Held at the National Theatre in St Kilda recently, the Shiamak Winter Funk set the stage alight with a Shiamak-style Bollywood dance extravaganza. This annual event is a culmination of the efforts of students enrolled in the Shiamak Dance Group in Melbourne. Students from all ages and all stages performed on stage to a sell out audience comprising of friends and family. The entertainment temperature was raised with a heady mix of latest Bollywood dance numbers, well-choreographed sequences, glittering costumes and some unmistakable talent.
Says renowned choreographer Shiamak, “Shiamak’s Winter Funk show is a chance for my students to express their passion and truly shine in a professional dance set-up. Melbourne has great potential, students here have a certain energy that makes them great performers on stage!”
Not everyone who is seen on stage at this annual event is born to dance, but they are free to dance and that’s definitely more important. ‘Have feet, will dance!’ is one of Shiamak’s oft-quoted statements and Vihang Nikalje, Manager – Shiamak Group Australia endorses this. “In the process of learning, our students acquire various skills that hold them in good stead in all phases of life. Discipline, coordination, confidence, teamwork, exercise and professionalism are all part of this experience. The enormous amount of fun that these students end up having during their classes is the proverbial cherry on the cake,” he said. Vihang Is currently managing the Shiamak Dance School in Sydney, while instructor Darshan Pawar is responsible for the classes in Melbourne.
The excitement on the evening of the Winter Funk was palpable as students finalised their costume trials, rehearsed their steps and dealt with the butterflies in their stomach. Vihang Nikalje and Mishti Shirke took the audience through a quick succession of performances. The items presented were split according to suburbs and level of advancement. The Special Potential Batch and Shiamak Show Kids executed the best performances of the evening. These groups are made of students picked by Shiamak for their talent and capabilities. Dances choreographed on Ganpati, Fevicol Se, Ghagra were undoubtedly good; however this year again, there were many praiseworthy performances from other students.
A deviation from previous events was in the form of a formal recognition of people who have supported the group since its inception in 2006. “These people have made us feel welcome and cared for since we arrived, and over the years they have become part of our extended family. They have contributed to the Shiamak Group in various ways from assisting us, supporting our events, cooking for us, promoting us and for always being there for us. We wish to take this opportunity to thank these special individuals,” said an emotional Nikalje. He requested Vasan Srinivasan, President of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV) to present the tokens of appreciation. Among the recipients were Mr Vasan and Mrs Lata Srinivasan, Krishna Arora, Subra Ramchandran, Sonali Padwal, Radhika Sarve, Ankush Gupta, Karishma Singh, Mishti Shirke, Sunil and Bina Shirke, Arun and Rajshree Sarve, Abhishek and Seema Gupta, Amarjit and Neerja Singh, Manisha Chaubal Menon, Ambarish Deshmukh, Manisha Isaacs, Chandana Unnithan, Ramya Matthew, Preeti Rao Ghag, Vimani Peiris, Nareeta Singh, Nisha Choksi Mavani, Parag Waghmare and Preeti Jabbal.
Photo: Ravinder Jabbal