Related: Read more from the life at Delhi University series here
What sets it apart?
The choreography societies were formed from 2002, a young conception, it is currently under operation in colleges such as Sri Venkateswara College, Lady Shri Ram College, Hindu, Hansraj, Kirori Mal, Gargi College, Kamala Nehru College, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT) and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D)
Students choreograph their production often with the help from professional dance choreographers. The piece is built around a theme or a story based on social issues, mythologies, and fiction while others take inspirations from movies and books. It is story telling in the form of dance; abstract yet meaningful. The ten-minute production is accompanied by a voice over in the beginning and in the end, that explains the theme and concludes it respectively.
Not just a hobby
Being a member of the dance society, it is both, physically and mentally challenging. With practices stretching for as long as six hours it is no more just a casual hobby. In school, dances would be put up in 2 days time; college productions on the other hand, are a result of months of training, planning and choreography. Since it involves a storyline, students have to come up with ideas and concepts and build them in such a way that they leave an impact on the audience.
Blood, Gut and Sweat
Initial months consist of rigorous training and stamina building. Blood, sweat and injuries are an every day passing thing, the body is perpetually agonized by sores and clots with pain in places you could never imagine. And yet, the members remain passionate and turn up day after day for the love of dance.
It is important to have dancers that exhibit the same level of experience and training when on stage, decreasing the disparity between first, second an third years, which in fact, is natural. There is always an effort in making these differences less apparent and bringing the dancers to, if not same, but to at least a similar level.
Just Friends Or…
There is no body you see more than your society members. You spend almost quarter of your day with them, everyday for 6 months. These people become your friends and eventually, the more clichéd, family. Most often your best friend would be your co society member and your purpose coming to college changes from your academic subject to your society. There is natural bonding just by the virtue of being around each other all the time and sharing memories from the outstation trips and DU festivals.
All Rounder Much?
A dancer of the dance society is not only good at dancing but also other facets such as multitasking, crisis management and teamwork. Learning here is beyond dance, extending to life in general. The society builds you as an independent, dedicated, empathetic person, while also increasing your social circle. The fun and good times sneaked between practices always remain with you. It’s a place that makes you feel bad for the people who aren’t a part of this crazy rollercoaster.
Being a member of the dance society, commitment, is the key for realizing your growth along with hard work and practice. Each day counts. The strenuous dance schedules and long hours of practice can sometimes take a toll, both on the body and studies. Time management is integral to work out a balance among various spheres but in the end, the magic of stage and lights shared with your tribe make it all worthwhile.
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In pictures: Nritya, the choreography society of SVC