Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams. Story: Veena Sukha.
The ability to participate and to step out of one’s comfort is an empowering one. One realises that with diligence and constant practice anything and everything is possible. The Arts should not have any barriers of entry, it should be open to one and all across age, gender, community and dance ability.
“The ability to participate and to step out of one’s comfort is an empowering one”
This opportunity lead to many avenues of discovery for us, although our group has had previous experience in organizing a Cape Town Carnival performance – this was Jhoomkar’s first solo performance on such a large scale. For the first time since we have been participating, we did not just rely on the fact that we are an Indian Dance group, to pull off a great performance. We paid careful attention to the chosen theme, and made a concerted effort to find ways to integrate our art form into it, in terms of costume, makeup, music interpretation and overall presentation.
“The Arts should not have any barriers of entry, it should be open to one and all across age, gender, community and dance ability”
We learnt to believe in ourselves, to trust our creative instincts, and to have faith in our team. We assigned leaders to groups within Jhoomkar (e.g. costume, attendance, jewellery design/fabrication, material/prop shoppers, choreography and teaching groups) in order to streamline all our internal processes and ensure a smooth run for Cape Town Carnival 2017.
Veena Sukha – group leader Jhoomkar Indian Dance Group
Comments from Jhoomkar performers:
- “Some people say I look Indian, though I am not Indian. But I can’t explain why I love Indian music and their dancing. At first it was a search to learn more about another culture, right here in my city. But it’s like, my heart just responds to the wild beats of India” Merentia van de Ven
- Loved being part of a something bigger than the community.
- Being a dancing diva for the night
- Ability to meet new friends and collectively realise a goal
- Showcase Indian culture in its traditional form – and being proud of it
- Had lots of fun!