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No place for desis

As the countdown to the New Year eve hots up Indian performers seem to be losing out to firang dancers from Eastern Europe. Read on to know more.

entertainment Updated: Dec 19, 2010 15:40 IST
Namya Sinha

White skin scores again. As the countdown to the New Year eve hots up and Delhi prepares for a busy party season, Indian performers seem to be losing out to firang dancers from Eastern Europe.

Although equally capable of electrifying an evening, the desi dancers are getting less bookings, and less money, than the imports. “In this season our rates should be double than what we charge, but organisers are not willing to pay anything more than Rs. 15, 000 (per show) and that too after bargaining,” says dancer Vikki Varma of Noida Dance Studio.

belly dancerFor dancers like Varma, the last week of December used to be packed with schedules in clubs and hotels. They only had to rival with Bollywood stars, who, though, were always a favourite, but only a few hotels could afford them. European dancers, since they are not as expensive as item girls, are more serious threat. Currently, Russian belly dancers are very popular. "I’m booked for every evening. I don’t know why we girls are in demand but I’m not complaining," says Anne, a belly dancer from Ukraine.

“The rates for European dancers start at Rs.1 lakh,” says Varma. “For New Year parties, people want wow and oomph factor. Either it has to be a Bollywood star, and if you can’t get them, then the Europeans,” says Sharad Mathur, director, EMG Entertainment, an event management company. “One European dancer gets as much as the combined earning of a group of eight Indian non-film performers,” says Jack of Scorpians Performing Art Troupe. “There is not much in the kitty for me,” says Madhavi Gupta, a freelance solo dancer.

The charge sheet
Rs. 1 lakh - the average rate charged by a 8-member Indian dance group

Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 4 lakh - the average rate charged by a single European dancer

Rs.15,000 to Rs. 20,000 - the average money charged by a single Indian dancer