When it comes to dancing, apart from informal shake-a-leg sessions, Delhi University is also about fine dance performances on stage by dance societies of different colleges. This week, we get you to meet the members of Nritya, the choreography society of Sri Venkateswara College. This vibrant group of “fun loving crazy people” (as they like to call themselves) performs theme based contemporary dance pieces. The society was founded five years ago and has 11 members at present.
“The year begins with about 15-16 members, but by this time, 10-11 is what we are left with,” says Neha Sharma, president of Nritya. If you’re wondering how one becomes a member of this cool society, here’s how: One needs to go through two-three rounds of auditioning. There is a combined audition for the Western Dance Society and the Choreography Society. After the 1st round that sees about 100-150 participants, who come prepared with their dance pieces, only about 40 students are selected, who then choose between the two societies. The final round is about proving that you can do it as the choreographer gives some difficult steps that decide your fate in the team. This does not mean that only trained dancers stand a chance. The team is a mix of trained and untrained dancers and we try and match each other’s levels. “When I joined I had no training but the team encouraged me and has helped me reach where I am,” says member Abhay Punjabi. Apart from the dance skills, “the potential to learn, the right attitude and passion for the form are things we look for,” says Neha.
Most societies in Delhi University have the president from the 3rd year, but the case here is different. The society feels that the 3rd year is important for the students and as a president, one cannot compromise on the duties towards the society, so they choose one from the 2nd year.
Fest season or not, the group makes sure they practice regularly. So, does the society face any attendance issues? “The college encourages us to practice well but wants us to study too. For being regular in the practice, 17% attendance is compensated for,” says member Sanya Manchanda.
The society believes in getting better with each performance. “When on the stage, one should forget everything and just perform from the heart,” says member Rishi Sharma. This group has won many accolades. This year, they bagged the first position in annual fests of MICA, BITS Pilani and Hansraj College, came 2nd in IIPM and 3rd in Gargi College. So does winning really matter to these performers? “Winning is important but not the most important thing. There have been times when we haven’t won, but the crowd response was phenomenal. The crowd cheers only when they like a performance. Nothing matters more than the crowd response,” says Rishi Sharma, vice president of Nritya.
As for the bonding between the members, the team says they can’t live without each other. “We go somewhere together after practice everyday,” says member Komal Goyal. “We do have healthy fights but that just helps us improve. Each one performs for the team and not for oneself. That’s the reason behind our good performances,” adds Neha.
Choreography society fact file
Name of society: Nritya
No. of members: 11
President: Neha Sharma
Vice presidents: Rishi Sharma and Vidushi Malik
Other members: Abhay Punjabi, Vatsala Singh, Geetika Jain, Furkhan, Komal Goyal, Himanshi Rao, Sanya Manchanda and Asavari Kumari
What makes them click: Great team-bonding and a positive environment
How to be a member: One needs to clear two-three rounds of auditions
Biggest competitor: Lady Shri Ram College for Women
Places where one can learn contemporary dance style:
Where: B 96, Shivalik
The dance worx
Where: S-32, F.F, Greater Kailash-1
Delhi Dance Academy
Where: Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar
Balajee Academy of Talents
Where: 4C/13, Old Rajendra Nagar
Art Tree Academy of Music and Performing Arts
Kamla Nagar, 38, Bunglow road (Behind KMC College, Delhi University)