Crank up the volume and “Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte”! (Hindi for “We will meet again as we go forward"). NUS Naach performs a virtual tribute on International Dance Day,
7 May 2020
How do you bring a team of dancers in solitude together during COVID-19? Megha Saha, President of NUS Naach (or Naach), a modern-Indian dance under the NUS Indian Cultural Society stepped up to the challenge and led her members out of their “loneliness”.
1) What are the top three things you miss about meeting as a group?
The camaraderie, the discipline of dance classes and representing Naach each time we perform. It has been a tough period for our dancers to be away from our regular routine of practicing and performing! Since our second annual internal showcase, “Genesis 2.0” was suspended, the Naach Executive Committee (ExCO) has been hard at work in keeping the morale of our dancers high. As part our Workout-From-Home (WFH) series, we have been releasing fitness routines to encourage our dancers to keep fit for future performance opportunities.
At the full-dress rehearsal of Alfaaz, NUS Naach’s first independent dance production in February 2017.
2) How are the online dance classes and workout sessions making a difference in the lives of your members and others?
The dance classes and workout sessions have been carefully curated. The intent of these online initiatives is to strike a fine balance between building on dancer strength and fitness, while helping our dancers stay in touch with dance. We spend days cooped up at home and people forget to really move their bodies. This prolonged break can really impact a dancer’s capacity to perform. Also, we hope to spread the joy of dance no matter if you’re a professional or not.
Furthermore, these classes allows us to thrive on the strong bonds that have been fostered through dance. Some of our dancers being international students are unable to return home due to border restrictions, Naach serves the purpose of being their family away from home.
3) What does International Dance Day mean to Naach?
International Dance Day is a day where Naach pays tribute to all of its members, past and present. Due to COVID-19, we decided to put together and share a lively, energetic dance video featuring Naach’s Exco and our Resident Choreographer, Akash. The Bollywood song that the team danced to “Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte”, which means “We will meet again as we go forward” in English, was intended at expressing how much Naach missed its dancer family! We wanted to reconnect and reassure the Naach family that our bond is an unbreakable one. The video put a smile our members’ faces and reminded them that there is togetherness and warmth even in the midst of this period of solitude.
4) What do you want to do after the COVID-19 circuit breaker?
Dance classes and a reunion dinner with our dance members. We love our late-night dance suppers! Also, 20 pushups with the crew. For context, we have a rule where everyone has to do 20 pushups as a team when someone is spotted yawning during a dance class (rude…), haha!
If you are yearning to put on your dancing shoes during this period, why not join Naach’s next online dance class? Head over to @nusnaach for details.
Naach’s repertoire boasts of a diverse set of dance styles laced with a touch of Bollywood. The 60-member strong group believes in the power of storytelling through movement. Naach has performed for events such as the Mosaic Fiesta, HERE! Arts Festival and Mediacorp’s Vasantham Amarkala.
Under the guidance of Naach’s artistic director and resident choreographer, Mr. Akash Abhishek, the group held three fully-sold out productions – Alfaaz (March 2017), Dastak (October 2018) and Raabta (October 2019).