#MonsterArtist Frog in Hand share some really cool info about celebrating existing Bollywood dance styles and making it your own in this #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) episode.
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ABOUT FROG IN HAND
Frog in Hand is a Mississauga-based network of storytellers who contribute to the community by sharing resources, knowledge and experience through creation, performance and education. Our 2020 performance with BMM is presented by the eleven members of Frog in Hand’s 2020 Summer Company. This work is a mix of Bollywood, hip hop and contemporary dance, with choreography by Mississauga’s own Rohan Dhupar.
ABOUT MONSTER CREATIVE COLLECTIVE
Monster Creative Collective is a not-for-profit organization, committed to providing entertainment for the young and old alike. In the spirit of giving back to the community, Monster Creative Collective produces the #MonsterArtist Development program, now in its fourth season, to help develop the professional and artistic careers of Canadian artists.
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Entertainment#MonsterArtist Frog in Hand share some really cool info about celebrating existing Bollywood dance styles and making it your own in this #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) episode.
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>>Rohan: Hi my name is Rohan Dhupar and
you’re watching MAD.
Trying to teach the choreography to the
company was really challenging for sure.
It was a two and a half week process of
developing the choreography
and teaching it and rehearsing it online.
We did have a couple days where we got
to meet up in a park
and do some socially distant,
mask on rehearsing
which was really really useful to get a
sense of you know how does it actually
work with all the bodies in space at the
The um wrist shop song is one
that was really interesting to us, as Frog in Hand,
because Frog in Hand is a dance theater company.
So while we do a lot of contemporary
dance and just like regular choreography
uh that one was interesting
because we got to make it more of a
of a theater piece as well with more
acting, more character work in there.
Um so Caitlyn Sabled
was our choreographer for that one and
she really walked us through a lot of
character beats and intentions, and
really focused more on making it
more like a scene or a mini play
as opposed to a dance.
Chammak Challo was really just straight
up a dance number, it was a lot of fun.
Another company member, Mckenna, she
choreographed that one
and she has a strong hip-hop background
so we got to draw on her experience doing that.
And then for Badtameez Fever that one was really
playing back and forth with the Bollywood
song and the disco song
and finding that you know,
or having a good time in both worlds
but they’re a little bit different.
Um and the inspiration came
from you know finding a way to
celebrate both versions together.
Finding a way to
navigate the South Asian cultural
implications of Bollywood along with the
other styles we were using
was something that we were having a lot
of conversations about as a company.
Especially because I’m the only South
Asian member of the company.
I do personally have um
a lengthy Bollywood training background
but not everyone else did so we did a lot of
research and a lot of discussion.
We watched a lot of videos
just so that we understood what some of those
cultural and traditional derivatives of the
style of Bollywood are
and where they come from.
And then we just basically wanted to
and treat it as a regular
Frog in Hand dance theater process.
So it was more along the lines of
a cultural celebration of the South Asian
implications of Bollywood into what Frog in Hand’s
theater making practices already are.
And then, of course, everyone not having
done Bollywood before,
we started off our process with just learning
a few counts of eight of
strictly Bollywood movement and really
fine-tuning different details within that.
Like with the hands, with the looks,
with the heads, um
just so that everyone had that already
introduced into their body
before we started teaching
each piece individually.
>>Jessica: We started rehearsing um
maybe about five weeks.
We filmed on Zoom for many many days and
it was it was interesting at first trying
to mirror choreography
and like trying to figure out like which
side your body moves and
it’s like sometimes the music would be
out of sync because of the lag from Zoom.
So there were a few like
technological challenges there
but the amazing thing about Zoom is that,
as we’re doing right now, we’re recording
so what we would do is we would
record every uh
rehearsal and we would post it like
on Google Drive where all of the company
members were able to
look back and review in their own time.
And then we had like the few
socially distanced, in-person rehearsals
um which kind of helped with the spacing
and kind of finalize everything
together so that was really nice.
>>Rohan: You know in the end it was
it was great
and when we arrived we just had to
make a few adjustments
but of course, yeah, what are artists
if not resilient, especially in this time.
I’ve been in contact with,
a lot of the back and forth over the past
um year or so with uh trying to get a
collaboration going with MonstrARTity.
So it’s been really lovely to feel that
um desire to have us
which was very exciting for it to finally come…come to fruition.
Logistically everything ran so smoothly
from like the communication to
um the uh discussion about what needed
to happen creatively.
On top of that, just like I love the sense
that MonstrARTity fosters within
not just like the local arts community,
but also focusing on
providing a platform for South Asian
artists as well and to
invite other artists who don’t necessarily
identify within that culture
to um lend their voices in that aspect.
>>Rohan: This festival was
good for me because it
opened my eyes to the infinite
possibilities of being an artist
in this local community,
within South Asian culture.
I had a really great time watching the live
stream on the Facebook page.
Like seeing people who fall within
more traditional Indian dance forms
and then seeing some people who work
more within fusion
like with heels or hip hop and waacking.
It was just like wonderful, so much fun.
I was watching it with my family at home
and um just everything was so different,
and everything was really well paced
in terms of, like you know, I was engaged
the entire time
even though it was on this digital platform.
The thing with digital performance is
there’s a sense of permanence with it
whereas when it’s live you do it, then
it’s done and no one really sees it again.
So it’s nice that
it’s out there and it
was received with that much positivity.
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