CHENNAI: As High Kicks, the all girls dance ensemble will turn four in a few months, Aparna Nagesh, the backbone of the group recalls how it all started for her. Having developed the zeal for dancing 18 years ago, she tells us that she had been dancing for a commercial company, after which she went to New York for a dance certification to pursue her goal.
When you ask her why an all girls dance group, she says, “When you put a bunch of young girls together, the kind of energy and the approach that you get for a performance is completely different. I have always had the idea in mind.” However, the scope for a better platform for girl dancers in the city is one which can be improved, she feels.
The poised dancer accords the fact that dance should not be gender-centric and applause should come not because the performer is a girl, but because of the intensity of the performance. It is the performance which should be the focal point, whether it is a girl or a boy doing a cartwheel, she says.
Despite the many reality shows and dance programmes, she feels that there is no new work coming up, with scripts and productions. Girls are often typecast by people by imposing on them what they ought to do and what is expected of them, says Aparna.
Things gradually started to set in place, as the initial number of dance enthusiasts who wanted to learn under her started to increase from a meagre two to 21 at present, where they pooled their ideas to take the group to new heights of learning experience.
One of the benchmarks that Aparna has triumphed to make along with her team in the short span of three years is performing at Scotland, making them one among the 10 companies selected from the 53 Commonwealth countries this year. She is on cloud nine when she reveals that both the teams selected from India were from South India. While the other team from Thiruvananthapuram was classical contemporary-based, her own showcased Western contemporary forms.
For the Western contemporary dancer, for whom emulating real life concepts and translating them into stories on stage holds prime importance, having a connect with the story as well as the audience is inevitable. She says, “My training at the Broadway Dance Centre in New York changed my life and perspective of dance.” She adds that High Kicks is not just an ensemble, but also a dance acts venture, where they have a community outreach programme working for initiatives such as Make a Difference and Teach for India, apart from school productions and corporate choreography that they have done.
High Kicks have had three productions, and next in the works is a dance theatre adaptation of The Great Gatsby!