When Belgium-based rope skipper Maarten Goedeme conducted a rope skipping workshop in a Mumbai mall last July, he was pleased to see how well Indians picked up the sport. Within six months, he’s back here with his group, Double Dutch Fusion, to perform at IIT Bombay’s technical festival, Technofest, organised in association with Hindustan Times.
The six-piece act will hold a 20-minute show at the IIT campus on January 9, for which they have choreographed a special dance comprising a mixture of hip-hop and classical music. “We’ve put together all our best performances, and this is the culmination of that. We invent new steps with every performance, and strive to take our standards higher,” Goedeme says.
However, there’s hardly scope for improvisation doing what they do. While two members of the group stand at opposite ends of the stage spinning two ropes simultaneously, the others have to jump over them in synch with the beat. “It’s a team sport which requires immense practice. We improvise while rehearsing, but never at shows,” Goedeme adds.
Having been involved in professional rope skipping since 2003 and performed in various countries, Double Dutch Fusion now wants to introduce the dance form to India. They believe it’s a new sport which doesn’t require expensive equipment, and keeps youngsters on their feet. Goedeme says, “This is our first time here as a group, and we want to hold a workshop to demonstrate the skills needed. It’s simple, and can be done in schools, on open roads, almost anywhere where there’s open space.”
Besides the 150-plus shows they do throughout the year, a number of musical collaborations keep the group engaged. Their most famous project to date has been a music video with Swiss DJ and producer Yves Larock. “It happened very quickly, the entire project. Within a couple of months, the song had become a big hit. But presently, I’m interested in seeing Indian forms of dance!” he says.
Technofest will start today till January 9, and will also see performances by international juggling champion Mark Nizer, basketball
acrobatics group Dunking Devils and fire-show artists Cosmic Circles.