Salutations To Darpana Academy of Performing Arts (Ahmedabad-India) & Trainings :

1007614-medium190apAbout Darpana Academy of Performing Arts of (Ahmedabad-India) & Trainings :

1949 : Darpana was established as a dance academy by Mrinalini and Vikram Sarabhai. For nearly two decades it taught classical dance.(1949-1969). With Mrinalini as the lead dancer, and Chatunni Panicker as her partner, the Darpana dance company toured across the world. A few years later the great Kuchipudi guru, C R Acharyelu joined the faculty.

1960s : Darpana added departments of Gujarati theatre and puppetry under the inspired direction of Kailash Pandya, Damini Mehta and Meher Contractor. These departments taught and had performing groups that established names for themselves. Gujarati theatre was revived as was the folk form of Bhavai, and many other declining forms from across the country. The Andhra shadow puppets found a new lease of life.

1970s : Thousands of students were studying BharataNatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Vocal and Instrumental Carnatic music, Puppetry, Bhavai and Modern Theatre. Many of the faculty members got involved in using the arts to tackle every day issues and prejudices. And Darpana grew.

1977s : Mallika Sarabhai took over as Honorary Directory.

1980s : Darpana for Development was established to focus attention on creating behavior change communication through the arts with Kailash Pandya and Mallika taking the lead. Government departments, Ministries and other non governmental agencies began partnering D for D to educate the public in issues of health, education and empowering women. Over the next two decades D for D became the fastest growing segment of Darpana, creating powerful communication that reached hearts and minds.

1994s : Darpana’s Amphitheatre Natarani, Gujarat’s only state-of-the-arts venue came into existence to give local audiences the opportunity to see world class performance, and to give artists a platform to build on. Each year Natarani presents close to 80 events, including dance performances, concerts, plays, cultural programs and films. Natarani’s café offers young writers, poets or music groups its space to hold informal performances, jam sessions and readings. The open gallery space allows Natarani to host thematic events encompassing live performances, craft demonstrations and sale, sculpture and painting exhibitions and specialty food at the café go with the theme.

1999s : When Darpana turned 50, all the Founder’s dreams had been fulfilled and over 20000 students had streamed through the institution. In a major reorganization, the teaching of the arts were put on a back burner and new collaborations, technological innovations and the use of the arts for social change took center stage.

2001s : Yadavan Chandran started Darpana Communications to explore the use of television and film for social change. Over the next decade the department produced and broadcast more than 2000 hours of programming, much of it path breaking in its innovative use of audience participation and in using popular genres to introduce taboo subjects. Recently Darpana for Development and Darpana Communications were merged to become Darpana for Change.

Indian Folk Dances, Bollywood and Bharatnatyam

Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and Folk Dances of India, Hetal Joshi Nagaraj

2014 & onwards : Revanta Sarabhai took charge of the teaching wing, the Conservatory, to revitalize it. This department now runs short and long term courses in classical dance and music, theatre, martial arts and a variety of other forms.

Natarani hosts seven major international festivals every year:

* Sunday to Sunday Theatre Festival – October 5 to 12
* Naada Music Festival – November 13-16
* Women at Work Festival – November 28-30
* InterArt, The Vikram Sarabhai International Arts Festival – Dec 28-30
* Cinema of Resistance – January 23-26 . .

11

Our choreography works from past trainings

* Festival of Nonviolence – Jan 30-Feb 2
* Celebrating the World of Dance – Apr 1-6

Over the last 20 years of it’s existence, Natarani has presented performers like Aditi Mangaldas, Amjad Ali Khan, Anahita Uberoi, Anupam and Kiron Kher, Anuradha Kapur, Astad Deboo, Atul Kumar, the Auroville Dance Company, the Cartoon Sardine Theatre, Fazal Qureishi, the Garlic Puppet Group, Javed Akhtar, Louis Banks, Shivamani, Niladrikumar, Mynta, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Rahul Bose, Ramdas Padhye, Raman Kutty Nair, Daksha Sheth, Rohini Hattangady, Ronnie Govender, Shabana Azmi, Shovana Narayan, Shubha Mudgal, Tom Alter, Usha Ganguli, Vibha Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Indian Ocean, Deepti Naval, Nandita Das, Zohra Sehgal and many others.

No other private arts institution in India had the facilities available at Natarani. The campus, the theatre, the artists, the technical equipment, the rehearsal rooms, the library of books, music and videos, the workshop, and perhaps most significantly the mind set. This made it unique for opening it out to the artists and creators of the world who wanted to break out of technique bound institutional or performance set ups and have the possibility of working with artists of different trainings, nationalities, sensibilities and goals.

Our Founding Member

Solo-Irving, Duets-Plano, Solo-Fortworth. Choreography Work from past trainings. 1999, 2000. Gujarati Theatre Dance Skit.

Grace And Grooves thanks Darpana Academy of Performing Arts for sharing their beautiful journey of performing arts under the leadership of Guru Smt.Mrinalini Sarabhai and Guru Smt.Mallika Sarabhai. This as well reflects in quality, technique focused environment pertaining to style or form and above all-commitment and discipline to form/style. 

The above article is being submitted by Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad-India to Grace And Grooves to provide knowledge about institute’s premier setup in Ahmedabad-India. Ms. Hetal Nagaraj has taken several trainings (1999, 2000, 2015) in various Indian Folk Dances, Puppetry and Gujarati Theatre at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts from some of the most renowned artist that visit the institute for teaching their speciality. Some of these choreography and conceptual works were also performed before and after Grace And Grooves was registered with state of Texas as a LLC and were reproduced as direct replica of her trainings at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts(Ahmedabad). While a few of the choreography work-ideas from Darpana students’ showcases (of 1999, 2000, and 2001) have inspired Mrs.Nagaraj to use the very same in Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and other Classical Fusion works (Kalakshetra Style or with multiple styles of Bharatnatyam, and Kathak). All with required trainings without forsaking fundamentals, practical approach and creativity. 

Be it for fun or competition–it is all about what you take home once the training is done.

We, at Grace And Grooves choose to provide the very same quality, commitment and creativity without forsaking the fundamentals of dance forms or styles. Students are taught to practically apply choreography work in their specified dance forms or styles and Indian dance categories(if-competitions). Knowledge of various vedas, shastras, epics versions, access to culture books, translations and history books are open to students who would like to study in-depth. Fusion works, musical theatre are taught in their own category of dance forms or styles. It is due to hard work and in-depth interest, that Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj has gained some of the finest knowledge and books from various parts of India during her extensive travels all over India for her education in various fields(including dance) and for the love of travel! While some books and mentorship were gifts from her dance guru(s), instructor(s) and Sanskrit professors at various institutes/universities/department of tourism(state & India) or performing arts related associations.

Hetal123

Bharatnatyam Solo 2008-2009 in Irving Texas. Repeated again in 2012-2013 in Grapevine Texas.

When you take Indian Folk Dance Classes from Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj in Dallas-Texas, the history of culture with related Indian Folk Dance variations, styles, costume & prop- guidelines, with required rules associated with dance form or style is very much part of program as per region and state wise – Both! Props making(if not available in market) & puppetry(-includes making them-) is also taught wherever applicable; knowledge of which she has inherited from her own mother who was volunteer teacher in local drama plays and schools in which folk dances were prominently showcased as part of entertainment on regular basis.

Her drama-plays included a full routine of dance performances in Indian Folk Dances on Indian festivals and subjects such Ram Leela, Krishnasthami(Janmashtami), Shivratri, Onam, Sankrant(Makar Sankranti), Dussehra(with 9 days decors), Women’s Empowerment, Diwali Decors, Christmas Plays, Lezim, Lavani and many others to include which are taught today also at Grace And Grooves Indian Folk Dance Classes or Musical Theatre (wherever applicable, as per need) as part of various programs.

Possibilities are endless with trainings as they come with practical safety guidelines for each form or style. This allows you to showcase endless creativity and still stay within the form or style.

 For No Dance Was Ever Made To Harm And Dance Is Beautiful With Creativity!

Just don’t forget what you were dancing out there in the name of creativity.

15304291_1276795692395759_6506375732297306298_o

Performances 2015-2017. Works of other renowned bharatnatyam guru(s) and Indian Folk Dancers from straight trainings. Elite Students and Hetal Nagaraj.

This above timeline was submitted by Darpana Academy about Darpana Academy to Grace And Grooves. September 2015.

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

 

 

Advertisements

Past Staff (Volunteer & Paid)

Mrs. Swathi Burra, Irving-Texas :

She was volunteering with us for about 2 full years in lieu of her daughter’s dance fees from 2011-2013 and some months post 2013. 

A fabulous lady who knows how to treat people, understands queries and at times their concerns regarding costumes, jewelry, to just about anything. She has travelled around world and knew pretty much everything that anybody had queries regarding. 

We had people from outside US such as newly moved to US due to Green-Card Lottery, some moved to US on business visa or H1 visa from other countries while some like us who were pretty much settled where we were(Irving-Coppell). Time we needed hand in backstage for costumes, makeup, ticketing, coordinating with organizers-the girl would get it all done. 

We had just registered our company and formation was still going on with lot of other paper-work during that time and our Indian Folk Dances Program was pretty well established with private groups in Irving, Coppell, Valley Ranch Areas of Dallas and Denton County. Some recreational while some only competitions but all just Indian Folk Dances and a few work out groups for moms. Recreational Folk Dances were only names as such because they would not bother to perform in US or anywhere at all or would perform only in Indian audiences in India which made us even more proud when we received compliments and in some cases, some certificates or awards as they would participate in India for various competitions during their visits.

Even after we were registered fully and almost all paper work was done, we were NOT committed to doing any community performances as Indian Folk Dances at competition level or even basic performance took us about fairly 10-12 classes for a good age group of 6 to 10 years. 

It was Ms. Swati’s decision however to prompt us to start Bollywood / Tollywood (Telugu Cinema Dances)/Indian Movie Dances. And our very first Bollywood Group had its very first official performance in IANT which was in 2013 under the name of Grace Creations-our non-competitive performing fusion company. Grace Creation was formed with an inspiration from Indian dance companies in east-coast which Ms. Nagaraj had been following in various social-media channels. Our Students were already trained in Non-Indian Dances from Ballet Academy of Texas, and Coppell Dance Center(Now Prestige Dance Center) and we already had required Indian Dance knowledge of Indian Folk and Bharatnatyam that we needed to create fusion category of dances for creative purposes only.

But that was it, the group then dissolved as nobody was interested in community performances on monthly basis for Bollywood but instead wanted to move to Bharatnatyam when they saw Ms. Hetal Nagaraj teaching some classical work to college students who had come for competition related classes. Some students moved outside city itself. These students were also taking Indian Folk Dance Lessons from us as seperate programs and few were our own existing Bharatnatyam students.

Looking back, if it wasn’t for push of Ms. Burra, we would NOT have initiated the Bollywood-Tollywood or Indian Movie Dances Program and Grace Creations wouldn’t have existed. It is still our non-competing group for Bollywood students where now, most of our Musical Theatre Dances and acts happen.

Thank you Swathi. Her daughter, Srinija Burra was a fabulous recreational Indian Folk Dancer who was accepted in several competitions as Solo dance artist(Age 6) and was important part of our team. She has also won group Indian Folk Dance Competition (Pure Folk and with respected judges/organizers with double degrees in fine arts-very proud of this young lady!). This was with our own other 10 Indian Folk Dance Students who were part of this group. Srinija Burra has also been the student of the year and received discounts on our elite line of costumes rentals and several other perks that we offered from our sponsorships of our dances that time.

Thank you Swati for being one of our best people. We Miss You 🙂 

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

Recital 2017: JALSO (Celebrations in Life) Nritya(Dance) Ki Masti (Fun). April 9.

Recital 2017: JALSO (Celebrations, Absolute Fun-in Life)-Nritya(Dance) Ki Masti (Fun). Venue: MCL Grand Theater, Lewisville-Texas. April 9, 2017. Why Jalso, Nritya Ki Masti ? Our Story.

Grace And Grooves Annual Events Recital 2017


April 9, 2017 Jalso : Nritya Ki Masti Initial Flyer with Ticket Information.

 The idea of the name JALSO = famous Gujarati Festival that’s happening in Mumbai(India) for a few years now. It got our attention in 2016. Our performances had festivals, marriage celebrations, life-events as per Indian life(Country-India) especially for those who have been settled here (-in Dallas Fortworth Areas aka NRIs-Non Resident Indians) for generations now.

<<<<<<<< Our Initial Flyer w/Ticket Information<<<<<<<

Recital 2016 – Adi-Shakti was a fundraiser for a targeted amount to CRY-America Inc and thus had a line of sponsors, good advertisements, tickets, donations, fashion show, sponsored costumes for our guest artists from premium clothing boutique as well as our own costume line. However, our initial plan for Recital-2017 was to do a full ticketed event of Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dance showcase name “Nrutya Ni Masti”. We have also taken re-publishing rights from Bharatnatyam dance schools from east-west coasts in United States. Using only Nritta or Natya was not an option and so Nritya/Nruthya/Nrutya it was! (however, you want to spell-check the name.)

Jalso2017 JPEG.jpg

But as the year 2016 ended, we faced unpredicted challenges and eventually, Bollywood was added to this event. This is in spite of the fact that our Bollywood students had a full-length of the playlist to go on stage as a separate ticketed event (Jalso as we had planned it initially) with the quality you would expect to pay for! Same was w/Indian Folk and Bharatnatyam. Either way, Lemonade was tasty.

On a good note, we completed NAVARASA in one program itself and that too in different categories breaking our own record of 2016.<<<<<<>>>>

IMG_1994

Recital 2017, Jalso-Nritya Ki Masti

 

 

 

 

We had few sponsors on the list such as Sheetal’s Mehendi Arts, Jazz It Up Inc, and The Grace Effect to go with our Mehdi ceremony theme dances. Sheetal’s Mehendi Arts specializes in Mehendi/Henna services for all occasions such as Mehdi Nights, Bridal Mehendi/Henna, BabyShowers, Marriage Functions/Parties, or just Henna Tatoo for entertainment purposes. 

11

Nruthya Ki Masti, Recital 2017, Jalso Indian Folk Dances, Bharatnatyam, Bollywood

Jazz It Up Inc. is our own costume & dance prop services for our Competition Dancers-Elite and Pre-Competition Teams. At times, we rent our costumes to outside students depending on availability. Custom Stitched Costumes usually take a month of time if you want to order!Coming back to our Recital 2017 Event, dances were featured in Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, and Indian Folk Dances with students trained in their respective categories from ages 5 to 40.

IMG_1988

BharatnatyamCollage1

Allaripu and Jastiswaram Bharatnatyam Recital 2017, Jalso Nritya Ki Masti. Pictures provided by Parents or our audiences

IMG_2086

Recital 2017, Jalso-Nritya Ki Masti. Celebrations in Life

Our Choreographer’s Retreat had Hetal Nagaraj, Mansi Chauhan and Deepthi Chandrasekaran showcasing dance forms and styles.Our intern-faculty Shruti was to perform as well but happen to missed it! We missed Buvaneshwari Murugan at the event when her very first male student performed a full-length of Jatiswaram in Bharatnatyam of minutes 5:26 under the guidance/assistance of Hetal Nagaraj at the age of 10. 

Our students from Irving-Texas, Plano/121-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas performed in their respective categories for Nritya Ki Masti-Jalso, Recital 2017. Students were rewarded with participation medals 2017 and our student of the year Ashna Pethe was acknowledged for her achievements w/trophy and the gift voucher. All our choreographers were acknowledged for their efforts and students were introduced with their individual achievements.

Recreation Students(Southlake), Summer Workshop Students(Grapevine), Private Class Students (Carrollton, Dallas, Irving, and Frisco) Community Folk-Workshop Students(Frisco East, West, Lewisville) or Our Couples Retreat Students(Irving, Dallas, Plano) DID NOT participate in the recital. We missed their showcases, big time!

Grace And Grooves, Recital 2017-Nritya Ki Masti had photography services from Bombay Photography, and Videos were taken by The Grace Effect – our own company photography/videography services.The Grace Effect is exclusive to the students, participants, and choreographers of Grace And Grooves ONLY. The Grace Effect is under the supervision of Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj or Mr. Nagaraj Setty and they have never worked for anybody in past when it comes to any photography or videography services for any volunteer or paid services or even on a friendly note. 

Needless to say, Recital 2018 name has been decided already 😉

Below are some more picture collages that we received from our parents and clips screen-shots from our recital dance videos taken by The Grace Effects. 

bharatnatyamcollage2

Allaripu, Jatiswaram, Varnam-Level Jalso-Nritya Ki Masti Recital 2017, Choreographer’s Retreat

IMG_2003

Congratulations to Deepthi on her very first adult batch/class for Recital 2017, Nritya Ki Masti for Grace And Grooves.

IMG_2011

Congratulations Deepthi on her very first adult batch/class for Recital 2017, Nritya Ki Masti for Grace And Grooves.

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

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.