Musical Dance Drama-2017….

Inspiration was an Indian-Movie. You read it right!

Dil To Pagal Hai(1997) Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri-Dixit Nene, and Karishma Kapoor under the direction of Yash Chopra. Though not much into movies, Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj was very selective back then about feeding her eyes when it comes to the magic of Indian Cinema(Bollywood). To sit that long for a movie was a non-sense deal to her back then. But a musical drama as part of the movie itself had her all excited and she watched it finally in 2001 and it never left her mind. She thought maybe she could do likewise in Indian Folk Dances, Bharatnatyam..some day if she would get to do it!

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Testing Waters of Musical Dance Drama in Recital for Bollywood Category,  Picture Courtesy – Phani Pydimarri and edits by The Grace Effects. Added here Feb 5, 2017.

The whole idea of musicals in Indian Folk Dances and Bharatnatyam(or any classical dances of India) existed back then too. These had very matured audiences and trained performers back then. There were several musical ballets happening in the city(Ahmedabad, India) with the elements of Nritya and intricate elements of Natya combined very beautifully! Mrs.Hetal Nagaraj had watched several notable works from some of the most well-known theater productions to recorded-live musicals by amateur artists/college students for fund-raising activities on women-upbringing, child-marriages, religion riots in Ahmedabad city areas and so on!

But all these years, as if it took its own time to get into the plan of action. 2017, she came back home with a big YAHOO after a chaotic day of a culture community event organized by Indian Association of North Texas, Dallas-Texas(USA). She finally did it in a public community event(India-Day 2017) in Dallas-Texas(U.S.A) under 5 minutes with props!

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Indian Folk Dance Category and Fusion Category – 2017 Public Performance. Picture Courtesy-The Grace Effects(Added here-Feb 5, 2017)

Not 1, but 2 of those musicals in Indian Folk Dances and Bollywood-Fusion Dances Categories. She took up this challenge when the songs that were ready to go on stage had her scratch the head! And she asked, why not? We had done a mini-version of it in Recital 2016 to test the waters. And so January 21, 2017 was a big day! It was challenging to get all the props all the way to the stage. Thanks to our choreographers Mansi Chauhan and Deepthi Chandrasekaran who made themselves available last moment and it worked out just well. The only challenge was that it was a public event and it was not in their control unlike Recital 2016! However, Choreography and set-up was already planned as most of the students knew their part well enough as it was work of our Recital 2016 : Dance of Gods featuring Adi-Shakti in their own categories. But the Yahoo part was that they managed to cover all the Navarasa (The 9 Moods) as per Natya-Shastra in both the category dances without breaking the rules of any category and yet keeping it creative enough for community fun-performances. Not about perfection but basic requirements were met.

We were able to keep intact the dance categories that our students were trained in(their joined programs). As per our research, it has never happened in Dallas-Fortworth Areas(until 2017 January) and that makes us very first people to do it(Yes!). We have seen dance lessons been taught in the name of Folk, Bharatnatyam and yet ended up showcasing just plain Bollywood Stuff.

Just how she had to believe one more time in all the training that she did in past and all that she had taught to her students. It went well and smoother than she had expected for what was in her control. Fundamentals never run out of fashion and formulas don’t change! It will teach you not only common sense but there is a reason why rules exist in pretty much in any performing arts. If you follow fundamental elements of Indian performing arts(Natya Shashtra in this case) then you will cover pretty much everything with little efforts. Creativity is just an added element to it. 

Dil To Pagal Hai-True, we mean it. Now, you call that a Phrase, Bollywood Movie Name, Indian Folk Dance or Classical Bharatnatyam-none of our business. Don’t come after us for this!

Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. 

http://www.graceandgrooves.com                 Phone : 972 979 2559                    info@graceandgrooves.com

Dance Projects By Grace And Grooves (Exclusively To Schools Only).

Just as our artistic director Ms. Hetal Nagaraj had the opportunity to learn from her own schools and colleges during her entire academic life, she just follows same here. A little give back to her kids’ schools other than her active PTO involvements such as Vice President PTO, Cultural Committee Coordinator, and Staff-Event Coordinator.

Focusing on just one country(India) is an easy job in India where the diversity/culture in forms of Indian Folk or Cultural Dances makes sense as in regions or states of India when celebrating India’s Independence Day or Republic Day or school annual day. This is not really a possibility in Dallas-Texas charter schools(USA) where every other student studying in school is from the different country with absolutely no common culture grounds! With this global diversities, imposing an Indian Performing Arts or even using Indian music wasn’t a good fit.

But, efforts were paid off when the parents opened their doors to do some creative works as long as it was limited to school environment and shows. Most dancers who joined this program had never danced before or had never even moved themselves to the tunes of music. From selecting the music, costumes, moves and the makeup standards were as per school guidelines. The performance was to appeal not only most/all demographics depending on the school, and the environment but also must fit the guidelines of the school. Dance lessons happened throughout the academic year following the school guidelines and calendar.

Finally, we could get a decent 4-5 min of presentable creative works by the end of the year. Kids loved it and parents admired it.  Grace And Grooves had undertaken these fun creative projects with the following schools:

Below are the pictures of performances from both the schools. These pictures are released based on parent’s consent forms signed exclusively for Grace And Grooves releases Only.

Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017.  All Pictures posted here are with an exclusive consent of participating students, parents or school staffs. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. 

Performances in 2015 and Before

Indian Folk Dances, Bollywood and Bharatnatyam

Our Founding Member Hetal Nagaraj performs regularly for Bharatnatyam, Folk Dances of India And Bollywood

Past Performances of Grace And Grooves. List of paid and unpaid public events – 2015 and before in no specific order of occurrences and numbered per event/not by number of performances):

  1. Grace And Grooves performs at Plano Library, at a Diwali Event (Organized by Independent Groups). Ms. Mansi Chauhan offered Bollywood Workshop-Age Group 4 to 8 Years.
  2. Grace And Grooves performs at an invited event organized by DFW-Hindu Temple, Irving-Texas featuring Semi-Classical Bharatnatyam-Bollywood Style , Bollywood-Folk, and Bollywood Performances.
  3. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Shabdam/Shabhdam), Garba, and Bollywood Dances in a walkathon organized by CRY America Inc in Irving-Texas.

    Folk Dances of India, Bollywood and Bharatnatyam

    Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and Folk Dances of India at CRY America Inc walkathon in Irving-Texas.

  4. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam (Art-work), Bollywood and Fusion at Iskon-Dallas at a sponsored event.
  5. Grace And Grooves performs Lavani, Garba, Ghoomar/Ghummar, and Folk tale lyrical in Dallas-Texas for Dallas Catholic Charities in Dallas-Texas.
  6. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(as guest artist, Allaripu) in competition where Ms. Hetal Joshi was judge for Non-Classical Category-Dallas, Texas. (2011)
  7. Grace And Grooves performs Garba, Bollywood Dances, and Lavani in May Festival -Fortworth.
  8. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Pushpanjali-Guru Vandana), Tollywood Dances, Bollywood Dances, Folk Lyrical in Dallas International Festival, Dallas-Texas.
  9. Grace And Grooves performs Kalbelia, Kshatriya, Tippani and Bollywood Dances in Plano, Texas at an International Festival representing India.
  10. Grace And Grooves showcased art-works (Garba of Smt. Indu Mangrola) and Semi-Classical Kathak in Tarrant County-College, Arlington-Texas.
  11. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Thillana), Bollywood Dances, Rajasthani Folk Tale(with Chirmi) event organized by DFW International in Addison, Texas.
  12. Grace And Grooves performs Gidda, Bhangra(Beginners) and Bollywood performances at Ram Mandir-Plano Texas.
  13. Grace And Grooves performs Bollywood Folk, Semi-Classical Kathak, Bollywood Hip Hop, and Bhangra at an event organized by Indian Association of North Texas, Dallas-Texas.
  14. Grace And Grooves performs Teratalli, Garba, Ghoomar/Ghummar, and Chirmi in Fortworth Festival-Forworth.

    Folk Dances of India

    One of our Elite, Trained Gymnasts

  15. Grace And Grooves performs at inaugural function with Bollywood Fusion, Koli, Lavani, KummiAdi, Bihu at a sponsored event in Colleyville, Texas featuring Cultures of India. PAID Performance.
  16. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Jatiswaram)in Grapevine-Texas for Diwali event organized by Denton Association.
  17. Grace And Grooves performs Raas/Dandiya, Bollywood-Retro, and Fusion Tap w/Bollywood in association with Dance Workshop at Lewisville Grand Theatre(Lewisville). Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center(Coppell) and later at Prestige Dance Center (Lewisville), Texas.
  18. Grace And Grooves performed Bollywood-Lyrical, Lezim, Bollywood Bhangra, and Bollywood HipHop at Chinese Festival in Arlington, Texas.
  19. Grace And Grooves performed KumiAdi, Garbi, and Bollywood Dances, organized by DFW International in Addison-Texas.
  20. Grace And Grooves performed Lavani, Bollywood Dances, Semi-Classical (Bharatnatyam), and Tollywood in International Travel Show-Global Beatz Stage-Dallas, Texas.
  21. Grace And Grooves performed Chirmi, Bollywood, Rumaal Dance, Bharatnatyam(Lyrical Artwork) at World Fest, Addison-Texas.
  22. Grace And Grooves performed Fusion of Tap, Bollywood Hip Hop, Nepali Folk and Rajasthani Folk Tale in Grapevine Texas by Denton Association.
  23. Grace And Grooves performed Folk-Fusion, Bollywood Dances, in Plano-Texas. Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center-Coppell and later at Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre(Lewisville), Texas.
  24. Grace And Grooves performed Bharatnatyam-Ballet Fusion in DFW Hindu Temple, Irving-Texas. Students were trained in Ballet from Ballet Academy of Texas-Coppell, Texas.
  25. Grace And Grooves performed Fusion at Indian Association of North Texas, – Dallas Texas: Tap, Jazz, Gymnastics, Salsa, Bollywood and Folk. Students were trained or were avid dancers/gymnasts in Tap, Jazz, and Gymnastics, from Ballet Academy of Texas-Coppell, Coppell Dance Center/ Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre (Lewisville), and gymnastics studios respectively. Ms. Joshi took required Salsa Personal Training from a Master Choreographer at Arthur Murray Dance Studio (Plano). Please do not copy our artwork without training. It may harm your child.
  26. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam/Tap Fusion, Bollywood Dances, Kumari (Indian) Semi-Classical in Addison, Texas event organized by DFW International. . Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center-Coppell and later at Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre(Lewisville), Texas.

    Classical Dances of India-Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, Folk Dances of India

    Detailed workshops and performances at American Mensa by our founding member, Hetal Joshi.

  27. Grace And Grooves (Ms. Hetal Joshi) performs for consecutive 3 days in Culture Cowtown Event (National Gathering) organized by American-Mensa at Fort Worth-Texas, for Classical Dances of India, Folk Dances of India and Nepal, and Bollywood Dances. The performances featured Bharatnatyam (Kalashetra/Pandanallur), Fusion, Semi-Classical, Bollywood and various Folk Dances of India with variations in styles and techniques with time-line. Folk Dances of India discussed were – Garba, Raas-Dandiya, Gidda, Garbi, Bhangra, Lavani, Kshtariya, Lezim, Koli, Dumhal, Tribal Dances of India, Chhau, Sambalpuri Folk, Rumali Dance, Tippani, Matki, Bhavaai, and many more were showcased with variations/types, techniques and costumes. An educational workshop was also given after the performance with LIVE participation from audiences to American-Mensa Members on the all of above with and without costumes/jewelry. Over 30 Mensa members participated in the event of which a few were performing arts major.
  28. Grace And Grooves performs and gives workshop at Uplift Education – Summit International Preparatory, Arlington-Texas featuring Bollywood Dances, Choppai-Bollywood Style.
  29. Grace And Grooves performs at Independence Elementary, Lewisville featuring Tollywood Performances-Semi-Classical Style , Bollywood Dance.
  30. Grace And Grooves performs at Harmony School of Innovation, Carrollton featuring creative fusion styles.

    Bollywood Dances

    Uplift Education-Summit International Preparatory, Arlington-Texas. Workshop and Performances

  31. Grace And Grooves performs at Isaacs Early Childhood School featuring a neo-classical fusion and bollywood dances.
  32. Grace And Grooves performs at Universal Academy, Coppell featuring Bollywood Dances.
  33. Grace And Grooves performs at Castle Hills Elementary, Lewisville featuring various Bollywood Dances such as Medley of creative Modern and Traditional Bollywood Dances and fusion of Ethnic Rajasthani Folk dance styles.

Grace And Grooves holds exclusive rights for all the pictures being posted with permission of organizers for exclusive Grace And Groove use only.

More as we dig in our files…We enjoy performing and doing workshops so that you can enjoy reading/seeing pictures. 

Early Training-Raised with Standards

Cultural diversity becomes lifestyle when you are brought up in Gujarat where business, commerce, equal rights/safety to women, and acceptable knowledge of regional language attracted educated people from all walks of life, other states of India and across the borders too! It automatically becomes a blessing when you are born and raised in such environment and obviously, dance cannot be ignored for somebody who is a lifelong student of performing arts. With all this migration of quality people, t’was a norm to hear news of some cultural association (at times not even registered) celebrating their festival every month and dance being part of it. Gandhinagar(capital of Gujarat)is place where people migrated for government jobs (strictly via entrance exams or transfers) so obviously more than 90% of population is educated to some decent level of education or had thorough knowledge of performing arts as Govt. of Gujarat had opened its doors to several non-profit organizations and associations to promote art & culture of India along with just nurturing Gujarati culture. Some migrated to Ahmedabad (main business city) for business or professional careers (esp. educated women and young girls) due to equal opportunity and safe environment for working women/college girls.

Theme Based Performances

Recent Release Picture/article (2015-2016) of Annual Show by St.Xaviers School, Gandhinagar. For over 40 years, school has been celebrating focusing to various themes. Trainings are provided by local dance teachers or professional instructors whose students study @ the school.

From small pocket size dance schools, passionate dancers w/dance academies (such as Darpana) to educational schools (such as St.Xaviers & Mt.Carmel Convent Schools), had their own events planned through out the school year such as annual day, sports day, teachers day, their inter-school competitions/Odyssey, Eid, Diwali, or Christmas. At least twice a year, schools supported major city events such as Independence Day, Republic Day or any other extraordinary events happening in city! Whole city along with renowned artists from performing arts and govt. delegates were invited so training had to be given to students. Events would either happen at city hall or helipad so the costume requirement, dance props usage was compulsory pertaining to dance. The entire show was about glimpse of India where in at least 5-8 minutes of stage time was exclusively given for each performance with a detailed description of state/region or culture (at-least one type of) identification and choreographer/trainers name if they permitted to be announced. Participation levels were close to 99% as they were absolute FUN! Schools encouraged students to participate by giving extra marks as in cultural activities. The instructors were invited to offer these classes most of times at very nominal price for schools or was free if your group/classroom chose to do it strictly under school name. The program would then end with some stunts by Indian Air-Force pilots, parades and salute to Indian heroes.

All of that doesn’t happen in day or just 10-12 classes! Folk Dances of India are not like Bollywood dances where you can have somebody dance on song and you got it! None of the techniques of Folk Dances of India has any basic movement that matches in anyway if you were to focus on learning folk dance, even it is for fun! It is not possible. As we(Ms. Joshi) remembers after-school practices 2-3 times a week for at-least an hour or two in corridors of school. That is 6-8 hours per week of commitment, at times non-stop through out the year. It wasn’t about perfection; it was about fundamentals because you were to show that in front of knowledgeable audiences and LIVE telecast by various TV channels. Those were our school years!

The dances during those times for these events were never Bollywood dances as Gujarat had a very well established line-up of events by various organizations/association and government departments that would conduct folk dance competitions and had attractive prizes as in cash prizes plus hotel discounts, household appliances and memberships to family clubs such as YMCA, Rajpath, and Rotary Clubs. We are talking of lakhs of INR rupees and not just a couple thousand rupees or a trophy with a picture! Judges were from various tourism departments to PHD holders or Masters degree holders in performing arts or were dance professors/teachers in college/universities. These events were frequently organized so any group that called for avid dancers was a grab & go opportunity for pretty much any student in college who loved to dance. At times, we planned our choreographies right after we got the win if it was 2nd or 3rd place to not miss on our bigger share of pocket money-as we called it! Creativity was an absolute requirement in choreography, techniques, and costumes along with other factors in such a tight competition without forsaking fundamental basics of dance form.

Obviously Bollywood did not stand a chance in this! Back then; Bollywood was referred as hindi movies with beautiful songs/lyrics and not really about dance due to dominance of above competitions in the field of performing arts. Nobody wanted their daughters to dance like Helen or Bobby as in Dimple Kapadia, or boys to dance like Mithun Chakravarti, Jitendra (no-way) but rather Hemamalini, Sridevi had set examples of Bollywood style of classical dances where Bharatnatyam had gained popularity and for budding artists, singing classes would go in full-thanks to our Kishor Da & Gulzar! Obviously, as we further embraced western cultures, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sridevi, Meenakshi Sheshadri and such other dancers made their way to introducing modern dance moves successfully in-spite of being trained classical dancers and we can only imagine how much work they must have put in to achieve all of that in lime-light!

None from ALL of the above is a day of work or few classes’ work! It was more than that. You’ll know when you have gone through it just as we know it and so our students learn it, just as well. This is applicable to all recreational programs or private groups as well depending on program you join at Grace And Grooves.

While competition programs such as Grace And Grooves Elite Teams are for those who want to learn how to handle it with pressures and would like to make it as their way of life, like it is ours.

Our elite dancers are trained in least 2 dance forms (Not Bollywood) for at-least a year as a routine, or at professional & competitive level to bring them at our Elite level & ignite their creativity.

After all, dance is all about having fun and we like to keep it that way!

Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2016. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Our Story – How, when…. Grace And Grooves Started. And Why us ?

Any kind of Indian Dance, be it Bharatnatyam, Folk Dances of India or Bollywood was NEVER mainstream career in India and neither in Ms. Hetal Joshi’s family.  Right after 1999 when Hetal Joshi Nagaraj(Founding member) stepped in freelance private group choreography for Folk Dances of India (competitions), there was no looking back indeed. But these competitions demand creativity, dramatic appearances & intricate choreography thereby following the rules of your chosen dance form. This means that it involves hours of training even before the actual choreography work starts. You can only imagine the work required for competitions if you were to do it as a mainstream career with your own mainstream studies. So, it was once or max twice a year exclusive work for competitions only.

So, was this the reason that company was established? Nope.

Way of life made a way of life when her 3.5-year old-daughter started dancing (not moving) to Krishna Bhajans at Hare Krishna Temple of Dallas, Texas (ISKON of Dallas, Texas-USA). The crowd turned heads when she “danced” and people asked if she took lessons and when she started dancing. Her daughter happened to pick these folk dance steps while Ms. Joshi was teaching a competition group. She then started teaching her daughter just as any (trained teacher or)mother would do with proper training. But, she felt that her daughter needed more structured program of folk dances, if there was anybody doing it as mainstream. After trying a dance school/academy (for 2-3 years w/group & private in Plano & Irving) that claimed to teach authentic, creative or curriculum based Folk Dances of India, Ms. Joshi just couldn’t find ANY other in entire Dallas Fort-worth areas. You-Tube videos as Guru, copied resumes of other trained dancers & even copied choreography (Bollywood mostly)-of unpublished works of other artists seemed like a practice to this so called folk-proclaimed gifted artist. All of this @ the cost of parents and students’ who are ignorant to Folk Dances of India and would consider Bollywood or even community folk as actual folk dances! What ? The artist would then get their way out of all the blames by just doing govt. services-shocking and above all – shameful! Indeed an exhilarating & fraud experience from a senior artist it was! Not as expected when we joined folk program! A simple fact—you can’t call yourself a doctor coz you know dosage & medicine names or you saw a surgery on you-tube and thus open a clinic @ home! Can you? We wished ;).  For an untrained eye will identify community dances as pure or modern folk, the so-called—“Hey, I know Folk Dance-pride” just crashes before the trained eyes that look for basic folk-requirementsMore than 99% of videos on You-tube are entertainment videos in the name of folk & don’t reflect the right elements of folk! Content 6 History

So, with training, in-depth knowledge, and competition experiences in competition that we already had (Ms. Hetal Joshi), we opened our doors to teaching authentic, certified folk dances of India to outside students and public altogether. Grace and Grooves, name itself was a recommendation from the audience where prominent dance teachers participated and only Ms. Joshi’s advance dancers did not have name when asked. Grace and Grooves it was then in 2012 when the company was finally registered in Dallas-Fortworth (DFW) as LLC with the State of Texas, USA. Since then, Grace and Grooves is focused on providing structured programs for Folk Dances of India, Bharatnatyam and Bollywood. Certified programs are available if you want to make it a part of your life just as it is ours for generations! These programs receive continuous mentorship from lead dancers, junior & senior artists in India who do it as mainstream career either as gifted dancers (Bollywood) or as trained dancers (All genres). A consistent passion to compete in Pure and Modern Folk Dances of India to NOW a full-time certified business offering Bharatnatyam, Bollywood and Folk Dances of India. This is something like “the forgotten-once upon a time vision” in performing arts that actually came true! In 2016, Grace and Grooves was accredited by BBB(Better Business Bureau) so that you learn from the right people, just the way it is, in the right way & yet be just as creative enough, wherever required! After all, we want to introduce our kids-India’s beautiful culture, so that they don’t forget their roots and most importantly love to embrace it. The Right Folk Dances of India–Not the You-Tube videos!.

So Why Grace & Grooves ?

All of above….PLUS How you want your child’s talent to be judged. Based on govt. service that a dance teacher does, their partnered businesses, and copied unpublished works of other artists ?

OR 

You want your child’s dance talent to be judged based on their own ability/talent because of training & by right people ?

Choice is YOURS!

Make your $ worth of where you spend! Common sense, culture knowledge is taught FREE with all our trainings just like the way we learned from our institutes and yet look beyond possibilities, wherever/whenever required!

God’s grace, this definitely answers as to why your child should enroll with Grace And Grooves.

Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2016. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

 

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching OR Dance Like Everybody’s Watching? 

“You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” — William W. Purkey.

But it had me thinking. May BE dance like everyone is watching would perfectly suit us! Aha, we have loved when we turned your heads with respect to our elite choreography works by advance dances but this could go wrong too.Reminded me of a competition in 2015.

Round 1 : We danced and had more than 1000 video views in just couple days. Got their wows and had their eyebrows up for what a trained 9 year old can do when she competed with one of the Pure Folk Dance of India – Rajasthani Ghoomar(Ghumar/Ghummar).

This competition included some of the premier dance businesses in Dallas-Fortworth areas that claim to teach folk dances of India for years and several freelance choreographers in Dallas Fortworth(Texas).
Judges : Judges of this dance competition were local dance teachers who did not have a clue in Folk Dances of India while rubrics was made by one of their partnering folk-dance company.

The form was very much shown to them with the details announced as well. It was NOT FUSION or Bollywood that was announced! No mistakes were made not because of perfection was a factor but because that is how trained form is! Ouchy! These ego(s) were hurt when pure trained form was shown to people who were just shown until now all the you-tube inspired dances in name of folk dances and most of which do not have techniques or do not even represent culture at all. A fine-line was ruled then based on who teaches what! All went well and until Round 2.

Round 2: It was round 2, when the politics started and organizer entertained it.

Take-1 : Our student as if tripped & something was stuck in her feet. She cried and stopped. So we requested several times that please allow a re-take, as we didn’t quite notice as to what might have gone wrong when the same dance and costume was worn by student several times in several competitions prior to this competition. 2014 Wins Pictures. We didn’t understand what had happened until take-2 when the whole thing surfaced up!

During the performance, the organizer tells us that we are pushing our students to compete (What? is he dreaming in day-time ? He cannot see what happened? If that was the case why did you take our entries and wasted all this time!).

Take -2 : The whole bottom lace came off half way and student fell. The cameraman and organizer did not think of even assuring the child of being okay instead called on next performer and denied third-try arguing about us pushing child and what not in front of child. Ms. Joshi ran to Walgreens and got the safety pin boxes or stitching kit to see if something temporary can be done if in case things work out. We got the entire costume skirt fixed with 100s of safety pins there itself.

Several requests were made and just one of the team members/organizers allowed re-take 3 provided we get it done before all participants videos are over. We were able to get it done. so take-3 happened.

Take-3 : Went 100% successful and just the way it should be, and the way performer was trained. No mistakes were made, and it was actual work that had won several awards/prizes in competitions in past.

Issues : It was shocking for us that they allowed re-takes for other dancers for simple-costume changes without being protocol of competition (as conveyed to us) and yet did not make a fuss about it but he had problems with us doing re-take..based on what ? valid reasons ? The organizer was under the influence of other dance school as whole thing was a set-up.

If they couldn’t stop us there, read yourself what happened :

  • Public voting –
    • our parent’s email accounts on competition website were frozen.
    • our videos were not allowed to be voted. In spite of repeated requests to the organizers and phone calls where we were told the system will be up shortly. Some parents even gave their email account passwords to Ms. Joshi to see if she could login to their account but that didn’t work either.
    • If system was a problem, how come others were allowed to vote on their videos and write comments too?
    • Includes our own users who were able to vote for other friends’ videos and informed us that they couldn’t vote to our videos until last 2 hours…how do you explain that?
    • When told about an issue and information that our parents know that it is happening, the organizer told us as to what happened to Kruti Dance Academy in America’s Got Talent. We will get you a wild card, what is the big deal. My friend, you are not even there where you can issue wild card to us, not after all this dirty politics.
  • It didn’t end there. Later when we checked about selection process for third round, we were told expressions were a problem and blaming it on accident that happened.
    • The organizers were informed on stage itself that she is doing Advance Rajasthani Ghoomar(Ghumar/Ghummar)and so expressions are NOT a factor as for this folk, the face is covered half way to nose and in some variations all the way to neck!
    • Obviously stage being too small even for a solo-artist (-unsafe), covering a child’s face isn’t practical thing to do. But does that change the way, a dance is taught? NO. Common Sense.
    • She did what she was taught and what we learned.(Bio of Ms. Hetal Joshi-Blog, In Making). 
  • We then checked expression of those who got in for non-classical categories as that is what ours was–none of participants had it on their face and were just blank open eyes, then how is it they got in? Interesting-right? 

It was a public competition. These students are budding artist and they are very precious to us because they work hard all year round to learn something authentic, take certified trainings in it.

  • Even when we walked out, the competition organizers couldn’t stop another 1000 views in second round with beautiful comments from other dance company owners, how could they;later they had to shut down the comments/likes-too bad you couldn’t stop that.
  • Egos were hurt again when they realized that our performer delivered what she was trained in, just the way it was supposed to be done, all of that after accidents and with nearly a hundred safety pins in her skirt.Can your child do that without training? 

That is power of commitment and training, NOT FORCE !

If you don’t know what dance form it is and how it is to be judged then don’t allow!

However, we would like to extend our thanks to Manohar Nim during this competition for keeping things light for our performers when accidents happened and allowed us to do retakes.

  • The whole idea of the competition was as well taken from Grace And Grooves December 2014 face-book post when one of our student’s relative got prizes in pure folk dances of Gujarat after doing one of our choreographer’s lessons. If you don’t know how to implement other’s ideas, don’t do it!

Obviously, with this kind of attitude towards the students and parents from the organizers for our dance team and online politics that was never answeredwe then exited the competition because it was not worth spending time or wasting our precious students’ energy over a competitions where it was all pre-decided! It is a stupidity to argue with a fool.

It’s a fact; a quality product is always compromised for a trashy piece in the name of giftedness or best alternative is – just do service as you’ll have your kind standing up for all the wrong things you’ve do/done or continue to do at the cost of innocent kids and real people with authentic straight backgrounds.

As matter of fact, we take it as our honor that we got all our competition wins without serving anybody or doing any partnerships. We are not at your mercy to seek your competition awards with all this politics and dirty humiliation that you had put our students through/non-stop while they were doing competition screening. All of that in an open media and when other dance school parents were present. 

But, altogether this is a perfect example of Wrong Audiences with partnered businesses influenced by other businesses for their own personal benefits/politics.

So, did it matter here on whether dance like nobody is watching or dance like everyone’s watching?

N……….O……….P……….E ! 

Sometimes it’s just NOT WORTH wasting your time at some competitions.

SO, how we ruled out to exit from this competition: All of the above PLUS:

  • The very same Folk Dance of India (by Grace and Grooves) and Bollywood Fusion of Hip Hop and other styles (by Grace Creations) that competed in this local competition in Dallas-Fortworth had already won several awards in Indian Dance Competitions (with costume guidelines) in Dallas Fortworth, Texas as well as in India where judges had Masters Degree from some of the finest universities in Kathak & Bharatnatyam as their main dance forms and folk dance of India as their secondary subjects.
  • The wins were not just against Folk Dances of India that compelled us to make that decision at right time but it was our wins were against pure classical choreography by some of finest artists in Dallas-Fortworth Areas that they chose to categorize in non-classical categories. Pictures! Click Here;considering the latest! 
  • We take these artists as our inspiration and today also we follow their media pages because we love what they do. We know the originality in their work because we know the work involved for competitions.
  • Grace and Grooves with Grace Creations touches the heights of creativity where and when it is required depending on dance form, style, fusion or call it our favorite Bollywood that you may choose to join. It is ALL about what goes where and at what time.

When your child competes with Grace and Grooves | Grace Creations, we take responsibility of your child from start to finish so that it is worth turning heads of right people at right place.

Your child is not a showpiece for entertainment and is very precious to us. After all this competition experiences, we are at a point where we are able to judge the competition judges and marks given by them! 

None of the awards listed on our website are won by doing any kind of partnerships/sponsorships in competitions, or in lieu of issuing tickets or any services to any kind of agencies. For fundraising competitions as well, the sale of tickets was kept totally anonymous to organizer to get a clean win.

Please feel free to comment, we are absolutely glad that we made this decision in second round itself…It saved us further humiliation and dirty politics! We saved millions in those minutes-our time is precious just as our students. We hugged them twice after this competition for NOT participating in this competition.

This was our very first competition in our entire history that went like this. Let’s face it, when you see the coin-it has head and tail. This did not have any! Not all that glitters is gold, thus worth a buy! 

1999…. Entering Freelance Private Group Choreography. How we got into it…

1999 marked the year when our founding member Ms. Hetal Nagaraj first stepped into professional competition choreography as freelancer. It was the very first time when she taught students similar to her age, or they did not belong to her affiliated groups/school or college or let’s just say, were complete strangers. For a 20 year old, it was tough call when she was not a performer but a choreographer (Sigh). Through a friend’s friend, this all got started and today we are thankful to both of them.

Biggest challenge was that these students were avid dancers (who could move the way you want them to) but they had no idea of what they were doing. This is in-spite of being natives or participating in various community or school events as they claimed to. But, ready to work hard & first whole week just passed by getting their moves FIXED to folk requirements, which we did daily for 4 hours totaling to up-to 28 hours of training!

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After spending all that sponsored funds for the costumes and travel, you cannot afford to do mistakes. The whole week, with pure folk training & listening to audio/video of 30+ folk artist, finally we ended up in a song that was approved by competition board to use and was best fitting our decided folk & theme!

Then the real drill work of choreography had begun!

Folk Dance Competitions in India were/are technique focused (The ones we participated in) considering the important and major elements of folk dances to promote the authenticity and importance of Folk Dances. Other folk dances participated as well due to diverse cultural demographics in Gujarat. Judges either had dual degrees in performing arts, followed by PHDs or double masters in their areas. Ms. Joshi (we were) was worried as it was her very first freelance private group choreography with just some amateur free-move dancers who took training for short period of time! Getting them to NOT do mistake was biggest challenge.

If that was not enough, innovation & creativity was an essential element and to further make it look dramatic, we added the props that required balance.

Pressures…pressures & crazy pressures of around 16 dancers (14+2 setting) and it was all worth taking the pain! Cash prize of 1 Lakh Rupees & gift certificates to various malls & resorts. We did bag 20K INR (from award money as our % other than choreography fees), free tickets to cultural concerts, and gift cards to restaurants and hotels. It was a big amount back then in 1999 for a 20 year old to earn that money for just 3.5 months of work!

The satisfaction, Ms. Joshi (we) got was PRICELESS. Ms. Joshi also received additional perks from group as a thank you note for arranging costumes, jewelry & Props in last moment when board did not approve costumes and jewelry (due to folk costume guidelines) that group had initially decided. This was a kick-starter for us…Our best of all until now!

Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2017. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Elite : Expensive Or Quality ?

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2014 Winners. Copyright Images Exclusive to Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations, 25$ Costume on the left of this picture & 100$ Costume(handmade-on the right).          Choreographer : Hetal Joshi Nagaraj. Picture Courtesy : The Grace Effects.

ELITE: Expensive or Quality?

 What makes a DANCE company enjoy “An Elite” status?

Looking at pictures of Grace And Grooves, one might assume the OMG factor is of an expensive costume or is it, that rich families being part of event that company gets impression with the word – Elite?

W…R…O… N…G…! It wasn’t that. Don’t get deceived by the pictures or words!

In 2014, students of Grace And Grooves (Ages 7 & 9years old) won awards against pure Indian Classical Dance by some of the finest teachers in Dallas-Fortworth areas (Indian Dance Competition). The awards were won with pure folk dances of India and participating dance teams were from all over Texas. It wasn’t the first win that Grace And Grooves got it with pure folk in the same competition. 2013 competition wins were still fresh to all who participated again in 2014. They admired pure folk dances of india done by Grace And Grooves amongst the others–one more time because it was something that reminded them of their home. Just the way it is supposed to be! Choreographers addressed the performers of Grace And Grooves as an Elite with respect to choreography. That day, it was an honor for Ms. Joshi when those choreographers gave pat on her back for her 9 year old (with $100-custom handmade costume) stealing the award with a simple pure folk dance of India-Rajasthan-Ghoomar(or Ghummar/Ghumar) & a Lavani (or Laavani)- folk dance of India-Maharashtra by her 7 year old (with a $25 costume) against pure Bharatnatyam & Kuchipudi & other folk dances of india in non-classical dance category. Can’t get that wrong with all that years of knowledge/sweat & yes, constant mentoring. There it was, the company changed their tag line from a Premier Award Winning Folk Dance Company to an Elite Award Winning Folk Dance Company. In 2015, company started offering Bollywood Dance and Fusion Dance in name of Grace Creations for non-classical category of dances and to welcome Indian Movie Dances loved and admired for its peppy beats.

For most Bollywood/Tollywood Dances, Grace Creations costumes range is anywhere from a simple Jeans/legging with a t-shirt of $5-$10 and goes up-to $100 while the Folk Dances of India has costumes with price tag that starts from $25 to $120. Bharatnatyam costumes starts from $30 with shipping & goes up-to $110.

It all depends on how far you want to go with your pocket when it comes to dance. We welcome students to get their own costumes as well.

After all, dance is all about teaching your child look & feel beautiful which often goes with other performing arts factors & BIG yes–plus the COSTUME; if it comes with an affordable price tag.

And that’s how it is supposed to be – Simply Elite or Call it graceful. It’s the same thing. To be straight, no one wants to look beautiful with a hole in pocket or buy a $60 costume that makes your precious child look like a junk!

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 | 2012-2016. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

 

Recital 2016 : Dance of Gods featuring Adi-Shakti

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Just as the dance routines at Grace And Grooves classes begin with salutations to Guru(teachers), our showcase too had to obviously begin with Gods and Guru(s).

Adi-Shakti it was, when the grace met gods in performing arts and a unified power was born.

While we were planning our recital in late 2015 , we came across WE DFW-A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. A perfect timing! WE DFW is an entrepreneurship group “for” the women, “by” the women and “of” the women. We really liked the idea to promote local businesses by women. And, it was by contract in 2015 itself that we were donate the proceeds to CRY America Inc. with a specified amount as target given to us(unlike any other org. in past), so we decided to do a theme Adi-Shakti and have WE-DFW as our main non.profit sponsor along with Eknazar.com and Usha’s Unique Boutique. The rest of the proceeds of this event will be used to Cqunce Inc. for well-being of our society and Grace and Grooves Talent Fund that is being used for our existing students.

The event of Adi-Shakthi(Dance of Gods) was organized by Grace And Grooves and was held at Mustang Park Recreation Center, Irving-Texas, with around 40 artists in total that included students of Grace And Grooves, guest artists, professional and special appearance artists from Dallas-Fortworth Areas in the State of Texas, that featured glimpse of India as in Bharatnatyam, Bollywood and Folk Dances!

The Dance of Gods(Adi-Shakthi) was made possible by :

  • Exclusive Media Sponsors – Ek Nazar
  •  Featured Sponsorships – Usha’s Unique Boutique
  • Main Non.Profit Sponsor – WE DFW

Other Sponsors : 

  • An ERP International LLC
  • Jewel Blooms
  • Make Up By Sushmita
  • The Grace Effects
  • JazzIt Up Inc
  • Ritu’s Handmade Arts(Rituhandmadearts)

Special Thanks – Event Professionals :

  • Nagaraja Setty(The Grace Effects-Video/Event Setup)
  • Phani Pydimarri(Photo Courtesy),
  • Megha Vyas(M.C.)

Guest Solo Artists : 

  • Megna Murali (Bharatnatyam Dancer/Tanjore),
  • Mala Pydimarri (Carnatic Singer)
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Megna Murali & Mala Pydimari, Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

Professional Artists & Special Appearances: 

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Abhishek Maharaja & Aruna Kavatur, Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri , Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Rashmi Chetan, Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri, Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects, Jewelry Sponsored by Jazz-It Up Inc.

Thank you to all our students/parents and friends for being supportive during our very first event with last minute changes. Special thanks to Nidhisha Varshney, Anju Mehta during the event to help with costume and makeup preps for Bharatnatyam & Bollywood Students.

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Bharatnatyam Students Year 1(Age 7+), Adults Elite Team – Pure Bharatnatyam on Fusion Music

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Intermediate, Ages 7+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Intermediate, Ages 7+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Competition Elite Team – Ages 9+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Beginners in Bollywood Folk & Bollywood Performances, Ages 4-7

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Beginners in Bollywood Folk and Bollywood Performances

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Adults Elite Team :  Pure Bharatnatyam on Fusion Music

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Folk, Bharatnatyam, Bollywood

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Elite and Intermediate Team, Ages 7+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

Adults Elite Team Jewelry & Adults-Folk Costumes Sponsored by Jazz-It Up Inc. Special Appearance Costumes Sponsored by Usha’s Unique Boutique.

Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2016.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. 

http://www.graceandgrooves.com                 Phone : 972 979 2559                    info@graceandgrooves.com  

 

Creativity In Performing Arts (Folk): Embrace Or Not?

Depends. To evolve and survive is human’s natural tendency. We, as human beings are bound to think of endless possibilities.

So, where to stop NOW is a question.

 Talk about a folk dances of India? You will have to follow basic rules to it just to call it that form.

You don’t want to follow rules? Then, it is not that dance form.

To start with an example of Garba, a folk dance of Gujarat that gained popularity in 80s-Bollywood Dance to show off the cultural dances happening in Navratri (Festival of 9 Nights).

Bollywood, known for its creativity in all Dances of India-most of the times just ruins the dance forms itself, in the name of entertainment. So what happens? First timers (& ignorant) people will take that folk dance as they see it and wrong basics are set. It may/may not inspire them to do Indian Dance–but when they do it in community dances, they become a joke. Is it worth it? Decision is yours. Folk Dances of India have techniques/rules. Variations are added to facilitate comfort & fun for all age groups or audiences but basics remain.

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You got to clap not once but several times in the performance if it’s Garba. Basic dressing is required to give that folk dance what its culture reflects (if it is presented likewise) and thus NOT all elements of dance are taught where it is NOT required. Ever heard of women covering their heads up-to nose/chin and do Raas? (Yet another folk dance of India often goes together with Garba).

 

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Folk Dances have common sense (if trained-you’ll learn) as it ensures safety of performer with practical dressing basics to show glimpse of culture. In today’s world, we love creativity. But the fact that the whole idea of dance form itself is LOST when rules are NOT followed because you are misrepresenting an entire sect of culture or community that exists even today! But, let’s keep things simple. You can’t possibly roam around with laptop that accepts phone calls via some app. to replace phone for good–would you? Or use your phone to do the developer’s work? Once you cross the rules on how/what is required, the category then will NOT be same and the form is not the same! No dance teacher or a guru of ANY Folk Dances or ANY Classical Dances of India will EVER teach you to be creative at the cost of dance form itself and still call it the very same dance form. It is NOT about what is not possible, it is about what goes where and when it is required, if you are calling it with that name. Neither does Grace And Grooves; even when they have achieved heights of creativity in Bharatnatyam, Folk Dances of India, Fusion, Bollywood Dance and Neo-Classical Dances through their performing elite team-Grace Creations.

Founding member Hetal Nagaraj ensures that you’ll learn what you’ve signed up for & all that is required.

Copyright-Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2016.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission
http://www.graceandgrooves.com         Phone : 972 979 2559                info@graceandgrooves.com