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|July 5, 2000|
Put your left leg out...
The first-ever dance workshop promoting the Bollywood-style of dance is to begin on Monday, July 17, offering lessons to people of all ages.
Presented by Magic Feet Canada, the workshop, to be conducted by Shiamak Davar's Institute for the Performing Arts, will offer 12 one-hour dance lessons to Torontonians. The four-week session is priced at CA $ 225 (approximately Rs 675).
"The response seems good so far," says Abhishek Mathur, key organizer of the dance workshop and founder of the Magic Feet Company, promoting Canada's true multicultural identity and aimed at showcasing talents across the globe. Magic Feet Canada is also an event management company that conceives and co-ordinates small and big entertainment, cultural, academic and tourism events.
Mathur had earlier helped co-ordinate events like 'Panorama India', a three-day festival of India in Toronto last year; the world's largest greetings card event (approved by The Guinness Book of Records) in Dubai early this year; the Miss India-UAE beauty pageant in 1999; and the MTV Asia 'Chillout' show.
He also helped bring the play, Evita -- The Musical, starring Sharon Prabhakar and Dalip Tahil, to North America.
Mathur hit upon the idea of a travelling dance workshop that promotes the Bollywood form of dance when he saw the big craze for the Bollywood and Bollywood-related "products and services" in North America.
"The ever-so-popular film shows convey that there is a large market and demand for Indian film stars. Many Indians settled in the West want to share star experiences, live their lifestyle, impersonate their talent and don their garb," avers Mathur.
He met Shiamak Davar through Sanjeev Chowdhury, Canadian vice-consul general in India and a common friend.
"Though Shiamak was in Toronto for the shooting of Taal, many here do not know him by name. But tell them that he was the choreographer of Dil To Paagal Hai and Taal and it rings an instant bell," says Mathur.
The dance workshop is authentic in a way, because it promotes the Bollywood form of dance. While Davar is known for his classical form of jazz and aerobic dance, the only difference here would be that it incorporates folk, Indian classical and Western forms of dance and would be an amalgamation of all these.
"There are a few whites who have studied Kathak and want to learn the Shiamak way of dance, and people from other communities, like those from the Caribbean, who have enrolled in the workshop as well," he says.
Davar will fly into Toronto only in the fourth week of the workshop, but his instructors, Renita Anne Lobo and Aneesha Janet Dalal, will conduct the inaugural lessons.
If successful, the workshop could turn into an annual event and travel to other cities in America with large Indian populations, including New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles etc.
Mathur was recently involved in another event that hit the headlines: On July 1, he organised the 'world's largest consecutive singing of a country's national anthem', on Canada's 133rd birthday. The event, approved by the Guinness Book of Records, saw the Canadian anthem being sung for 11 hours and 15 minutes, breaking past records and creating history. More than 607 people participated.
Ahead lie several New Year shows and the Miss India-UAE Beauty Pageant, to be held this October. Those seeking more information or wishing to enrol in the Shiamak Davar dance workshop can visit the Web site www.magicfeet.com, call Abhishek Mathur at 416-910-5057, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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