Urban Asian is beginning a new series where we will be covering an interview with different collegiate teams, be it an already established team or a new team! You as the reader will get the inside details on how all these amazing South Asian Teams have come together and take the center stage and show how passionate they are for what they love the most and that is, dance. We are going to try to cover as many teams as we can and release each story once a month. If you are from a collegiate South Asian Dance team then feel free to contact us and we would love to hear your story.
On April 4, a few teams were selected to perform at Aag Ki Raat, at the University of South Carolina. The following teams competed: Rutgers Ehsaas, NCSU Nazaare, UNC Chalkaa, Penn Masti, ATL Satrangi, OSU Nashaa, Usci Dhadkan & Mason Ke Rang. Some of these teams will be featured in one of our monthly articles. I had the chance to start home, and got to interview North Carolina State University’s Bollywood fusion dance team, NCSU Nazaare!
Nazaare started in September 2012, and has won 1st Place in 2013 at Aaj Ka Dhamaka, 2nd , 3rd place in 2013 at Manhattan Project, and their most recent 1st place win at Aag Ki Raat on April 4, 2015 at the University of South Carolina! Check out their 1st Place Winning Performance at Aag Ki Raat on April 4, 2015! Nazaare brings Fire to the Stage, don’t you think?
There’s no surprise though that the team has made it this far in just three years though. The team spends about 9 hours a week of weekly practices and before competitions they meet up every day for about 4 hours. Most importantly when they are prepping for competitions their only strength is time. While they are all college students and each have busy schedules to handle, they still make time for their love for dance and commit a hundred percent towards practicing, synchronization, technicality and tradition. Even judges at competitions have pointed out these qualities in Nazaare.
In addition to winning at competitions, Nazaare focuses on other aspects. Their captains, Smirthi Selvaraj and Vijay Sadanani, create a story for their performances and choose the music which fits the mood and theme of the story. Their costume designs are also decided by the captains and made from India.
I asked the team what the process is when recruiting new dancers and what they look for when bringing new members to the team. They said,
We teach a routine on the first day and give them time to practice. The next day we give 20 minutes to go over the routine that was taught and open questions. The dancers then perform the routine in groups of three and in addition they have a chance to show any additional talent in dance.
The Nazaare Captins, Smirthi and Vijay also said they do not only choose those who are professionally trained in dance.
The team currently has a vast variety of talent; some are trained in Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Contemporary-modern and hip-hop. Some of the dancers on the team are not professionally trained at all and have just grown up performing at cultural programs. When they choreograph their pieces for performances, select people who are comfortable and proficient at a certain style of dance will choreograph that segment of the choreography, but not every single person on the team is involved in this process.
NCSU Nazaare is very organized and efficient, they do not dance to win or for the judges, and instead they dance for themselves. Their motto is “Go on stage to have fun!” Nazaare is a strong team on-stage and best friends off-stage, and this is why they are known to have the best on-stage chemistry with one another!
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