CHENNAI : For any dancer, being part of a crew where everyone knows the same steps and having a great camaraderie is a dream come true. Usually, it remains a far-fetched dream. But with millennials finding ways to multi-task and juggle between their day job and passion, several dance teams have mushroomed in the city. The latest is TipTapToe (TTT), an all-girls ensemble formed by childhood friends Ishwarya Balabharathy, Varsha Jayalakshmi, Varsha Balabharathy, Archana Raja, Shrivarsha and Vidya Krishnamoorthy. Recently, the team’s dance video ‘Mahishmathi’ created quite the buzz on social media and the choreographer, 28-year-old Ishwarya, tells us why dancing is more than just movement for the team.
“The core team consists six dancers and our association goes a long way. We are all from the same school and have been dancing together since we were in kindergarten. I am a few years elder, but our mutual love for dance is the basis of our friendship,” says Ishwarya. To start a dance group together has always been a dream for the 20-something artistes, who are primarily trained in Bharatanatyam. “From performing in school anniversaries, cultural fests across the country to staging a dance drama for Mithra Theatrics in 2008, we have done it all. Starting our own dance troupe has always been a dream, but we were occupied with college and work,” she says.
After a two-year hiatus, the group came together for a Bollywood dance jamming session curated by Ishwarya, earlier this year. “We hadn’t danced together for almost two years. So, I invited them all. It was a crazy hour of dancing and we totally relived our moments. One of the dancers, Archana, popped the question during the session. She asked if we could form a group and post the dance videos on social media. We were all on board,” says the choreographer.
Their first video, ‘Breakup song’, a Bollywood routine, was released in September and the positive response encouraged them to officially launch the group. “We choreographed and performed the Breakup song routine purely for fun. It was more a reunion of sorts. But, the response we received pushed us to do our next video ‘Mahishmathi’, which we performed along with four other dancers Simran Sivakumar, Namrata Sivakumar, Subhiksha Raghuram and Sandhya Mohan. This time, we wanted to work to our strength and performed a semi-classical and contemporary fusion,” says Ishwarya.
The grand dance video was the result of three months of planning and has received over 9,000 views on YouTube. “The response and feedbacks have been amazing,” she enthuses. The dance group will be a place for artistes to experiment with different dance styles and weave them together. “We are open to collaborating with budding artistes. In fact, we want TTT to be a platform where artistes can get together and jam.
For instance, the members of our group are all trained in Bharatanatyam, but we have also explored and dabbled with other styles including contemporary, Kathak and hip hop. We want to bring different flavours to our choreography, and keep producing quality videos,” she explains. The group’s next dance routine will showcase layers of the folk genre. “Our creativity levels reach a new high when we come together, and we enjoy working on details. The core team will remain intact, and the idea is to join hands with fresh talent. This will also be a great platform for freelancers,” she adds.
For details, visit their Instagram page: tttdanceteam