CHENNAI: A troop of ten dancers from Chennai participated in the Street Dance World Cup event held at Chuncheon city in South Korea recently. The three-day competition held between August 23-August 26 saw participants from 30 different countries. Chennai boys represented the junior category, with the youngest team member being 16 years old and the oldest being 22 years old. They took part in the hip-hop solo, crew battle, group performances and street dance.
The boys bagged five gold, four silver and one bronze. “The world cup was put together by International Dance Organization, a world federation with around 93 countries as members. Our country is the latest to join them on a probation period. We need to buck up and take part in the forthcoming championships to retain the membership.
The sad reality is that dance or the dancers don’t get enough recognition in our country. Indian dancers were not funded by any source and had to struggle with small contributions from their families. Most of the other countries take this art form seriously and sponsor their teams. Carving an identity for dance has been my lifetime goal and I will continue to work on it,” says Pranav Padmachandran, who is a licensed International adjudicator and official IDO contact for India dancers to IDO. He also runs a two-year-old dance academy called ‘High on Dance studio’.
The kids were selected by Pranav from different schools and colleges in the city based on their performances. The group performed under the name ‘High Squad’. “This is the first time we are performing on an international platform. South Koreans were so caring. Dancers did not look at each other as competitors, and cheered throughout the performances. Food was the only concern especially for vegetarians,” shares Umang, one of the dancers. On the dance floor, all the teams bonded over their individual styles and each team member shared their lessons with others.
Despite the culture shock and language barriers, what made the Indian team special was their costume. Although the competition was of a hip-hop genre, the team dressed up in jerseys with bandhani work. “We were a panel of nine member judges, who kept a tab on the rules and points.This was my first time after clearing the mock interviews as a judge. Dance was treated like sports in these countries and the panelists were strict. There were also spectators in-between the two judges, so that they could restrict the interaction. All the judges liked the costume of our team and that’s where we stood out,” says Pranav. Adding that he is putting together another new team for the upcoming championship which will be held in October in Poland.
The group performed under the name ‘High Squad’. This was their first performance on an international platform. On the dance floor, all the teams bonded over their individual styles and each team member shared their lessons with others. Despite the culture shock and language barriers, what made the Indian team special was their costume. Although the competition was of a hip-hop genre, the team dressed up in jerseys with bandhani work. All the judges liked the costume of the team and that’s where they stood out.