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Revels’19—Footloose

Desi Tadka
Vibhor Gopal

Desi Tadka got the audience grooving to classical tunes on the first day of Revels ’19. The competition was an Eastern group dance performance, with the four participating teams each being given 7-minute time slots to put on a show. Participants could perform classical, semi-classical or folk dances, with the usage of props being permitted.

Music reverberated throughout the Quadrangle as the audience cheered on the passionate performances. One of the teams danced to their own beat, by making use of dhols and hand cymbals while another team gracefully demonstrated the ghoomar dance. The dance performances tackled prominent social issues as well, with a team depicting the story of an acid attack survivor through their inspiring performance.

“This was a flagship event of Footloose, and we were glad to see the enthusiastic audience who had come to watch the dances. It was a successful event as compared to last year, with an outstation team also participating,” said Swarit Agarwal, the event head.

The teams were judged on a wide range of factors, from stage utilization and choreography to their costumes and facial expressions. With even the faculty watching from the balconies of AB-1, the participants’ efforts were rewarded as the large crowd that had gathered cheered them on.

Groove
Nitesh Agarwal

Groove organized by Footloose was one of Revels’ most awaited events. Held at the Quadrangle on the 7th of March, the event showcased a variety of performances that entertained judges, audience and participants alike, with two hours of highly enthralling dance numbers. The teams ignited the dance floor with precisely choreographed and brilliantly performed dance moves perfectly in sync with the enchanting music that electrified the crowd. The performances involved a lot of lifts, throws and flips that made the crowd cheer as loud as they could in support of the teams.

The competition also held up as a front for the regional audition of Season 8 of the Indian Hip Hop Dance Championship, with the winning team qualifying to perform at the main event in Mumbai. This implied that the teams that weren’t directly participating in Groove, were also performing on stage.

MIT’s own Blitzkrieg dance crew won the competition sporting their shiny red jackets with the excitement visible on their faces. Their performance garnered huge cheers from the crowd with their power-packed combinations and highly energetic movements and was clearly the crowd’s favourite. Held on the second day of Revels, Groove set the bar high for the fest for the days to come.

Two Of A Kind
Joshika Sachithanan

Footloose’s duet dance event, Two Of A Kind, witnessed veteran dancers from some of MIT’s best dance crews competing against each other. An enthusiastic audience packed into the library auditorium on Day 1 to cheer on the contestants.

 

In the first round, each team put up an astounding choreographed performance of three to five minutes, complete with colour-coordinated outfits. The music played as big a role in the performance as the choreography itself and had the audience grooving along to every beat. One of the crowd favourite performances was an Indian classical take on the hit songs Taki Taki and Shape Of You, while a dreamy contemporary number by another team left the audience enthralled.

After a short break, the judges, Ms Vidya Pai and Ms Archana Pradeep, announced the teams that would be progressing to round 2. The participants were judged on the basis of coordination, choreography, and stage utilisation.

In the second round, teams had to pick chits that assigned them songs at random. They were then given 10 minutes each to come up with a dance routine. Considering the minimal preparation time given, participants put up an astonishing display of creativity and synchronisation. Anant Awasthi and Roshan Hegde, participants from Blitzkrieg’s dance crew, bagged the first position after two incredible performances that left the audience amazed by their moves and coordination.

Step Up
Rasika Murali

On 9th of March 2019, the NLH stage housed dancers who showed off their improv skills in Footloose’s Step Up. 
The first round involved two songs, each of about 45 seconds. The participants were made aware of their songs only after they stepped on the stage. The first song for each contestant was a popular dance number that got the dancers in their groove. The second one, however, was an unconventional tune such as the Nokia ringtone or pink panther’s theme song. Most dancers showed confidence and tremendous promise in the first song but unfortunately fumbled and lost their way in the second. Six dancers, however, managed to make it to the second round.
The second round was a prop round. Each of the selected participants had to choose their props before the round began. The girls ended up used pom-poms while the three boys choose between sunglasses, a hat and a wig. The contestant who used the wig as a prop grabbed the audience’s attention and the loudest cheer.
From these participants, two were selected to move forward to the final face-off round. Both contestants were on stage simultaneously and had to dance to the same songs. Both the dancers had very different styles of dancing. One had a more classical background and added some traditional steps to her performance, while the other was power-packed and street style dancing. The dance-off of unique and unconventional improvised moves brought an air of refreshment to the crowd on the fourth day of Revels.

Nrityanjali
Varun Srikanth

As a brilliant showcase of the greatly underappreciated classical Indian dance forms, Nrityanjali was an intense display of years of practice and dedication coming to fruition. The event involved various technically complex dance forms that require a very high level of skill, which usually leads to a relatively smaller number of participants. However, those who did perform put on a spectacular show that left every member of the audience enthralled.

 

Every precisely calculated movement of the foot and each gesture of the eyes helped bring the nuanced and meaningful choreography to life. Each dancer was dressed up in an elaborate costume, adorned with beautiful jewellery and extensive hair and make-up to help complement the intricate performances. The stand out performance of the event was a beautiful rendition of a classic Bharatanatyam piece.
Although the event was delayed by an hour due to issues in the registration process, witnessing the revival of such a large variety of dying Indian art forms was truly mesmerizing. The event proved to be a favourite among the fans of classical dance forms, with the participants ecstatic as well at the opportunity of showing off their skills.

Moonwalk

Prajyoth

Among the flagship events of Footloose, Moonwalk, named after The King of Pop’s signature dance move, proved to be an instant hit for the general crowd during Revels. Despite the organizers having to make do with a smaller stage and facing some technical obstacles in hosting the event at the NLH stage in contrast to performing at The Quadrangle(as was done last year), there was no lack of energy to the event and the audience was enthralled by the show they witnessed.

Although this event was based on hip-hop dance, the contestants added their own twist to it, utilizing Indian dance moves and along with a hint of Western influence. Even the songs weren’t from a conventional hip-hop playlist, with a few performances on remixes of traditional Bollywood songs mixed with the lyrical prowess of popular rap and pop icons. The participants were each given 5 minutes to dance and were judged on a variety of factors including stage utilization, costumes, and impact.

Midway through the competition, there was a pleasant surprise as a few young children brought to the fest by the Rotaract Club went up on stage and did a choreographed dance, their performance undoubtedly eliciting the loudest cheer from the audience. While the performances from the dancers from Showstoppers and Blitzkrieg amazed the crowd with their innovative moves, it was the children’s performance that added a wholesome touch to the competition and left a mark on everyone present, making the event a true success.

 

Nach Le Ve
Nitesh Agarwal

Nach Le Ve, Footloose’s eastern solo dance event brought to the fore a melange of classical dancing, augmented by props. Held on the third day of Revels, Nach Le Ve had the venue filled with joyous roars and genuine appreciation for the graceful moves of the various dancers. Participants from various colleges came prepared with exceptional performances set on all sorts of classical and Bollywood music, with a few performances on the backdrop of modern rap as well. Despite the delay in the event and the change in venue from the Quadrangle to the Library auditorium, the participants were excited and eager to exhibit their skills.

The event had a variety of dance forms in store for the audience, ranging from Bhangra and Indian contemporary to Bharatanatyam on rap music. There were some technical issues during one of the performances where the music stopped abruptly but the organizers were quick to rectify it and ensured that the show goes on.

I had a great time performing at Revels’19, I am a dancer by passion, and I make sure to perform at every event I go to. Performing at Revels is so much better since it’s my home ground and I had the support from the entire crew”  says Hirankshi Chandran, after placing first in the event and impressing everybody present with her elegant dance moves and charming facial expressions.

Image Credits: Photography and Videography for Revels ’19