A song and dance in Khar

Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 21:47 IST | Shunashir Sen |

A just-launched event highlights why social dancing can also be a bonding exercise

Abhinab Dan Project performs at the gig
Abhinab Dan Project performs at the gig

There was a time when social dances with a full accompanying band were quite a regular affair in the city, with gymkhanas, church parishes and youth groups organising such dos so that the community could connect. But even when such events are held today, there are usually just a couple of musicians or a solitary DJ in charge of the musical responsibilities. However, a new property that launched a few days ago aims to change this. Shut Up and Dance seeks to promote social dancing as a bonding exercise for people, with a bunch of multi-member live acts providing the tunes they can groove to.

The evening typically starts off with a workshop on different dance forms such as jive and swing. The participants then try out the steps they have learnt when the bands later take the stage playing a range of upbeat numbers. The first edition featured Pune-based rock act Coffee for Giraffes, guitar-based Abhinab Dan Project, easy-listening artiste Vernon Noronha, and cover act The Vindaloos. And Elton D'mello, who's part of Vagabond Experiences that organised the evening, tells us, "The concept of fellowship — an evening when a community gets together for music and dancing — has existed especially within the Catholic community for a long time now. But the addition we made is to add the indie music angle. So, all the artistes played their original music, except for The Vindaloos who do only covers. The brief given to them was simple — it is a dance night, so make sure you choose songs, whether originals or covers, that people can shake a leg to."

GuideParticipants jive at the event

He adds that high-end weddings are another occasion for social dancing. "But at our event, there was only so much we could teach the participants over a one-hour workshop. Yet, it was really amazing to watch everyone practising those steps through the night while the music was being played," D'mello says, adding that it's this encouraging response that has given him the confidence to make Shut Up and Dance a bi-monthly affair.

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