Shiva Shankar School of Dance
Located in one of the many temples in Central Trinidad is the Shiva Shankar School of Dance. This small but vibrant community-based organisation is led by the energetic Indra Hardeosingh and managed by her brother Mahendra Hardeosingh.
The manager said he saw the name Shiva Shankar on a temple in Barrackpore and decided to use it.
The school has an average of ten students at present and the number varies from time to time, looking at the group of young people gathered for one of their practice session. Among the students I could not help but notice a very young boy who seemed a bit shy. Upon enquiring, Indra told me that he started this year and is the newest member of the school. She said that there is no age limit and everyone is welcomed. "We are here to teach Indian Dance. The other two young ladies are here about a year and Rishma has been with us for about four years. The tall guy has been dancing for over ten years."
Indra is no stranger to Indian Dancing. She had been a member of the Desh Premee Dance Group for a number of years when she decided to open her own school. One thing about Indian dancing that draws the audience eyes are the lovely costumes. Nikki Seenarine is the person responsible for designing the costumes. Indra designed before Nikki became involved with the school and she is doing a great job.
The group use the Hindi songs played on Bollywood shows as well as in the movies as their theme for many dances. Chutney music also accounts for a large part of their repetoire and they do not do Indian classical dance. Over the past few years the group has been contracted by many local chutney and other Indian artistes to perform with them at competitions, shows and weddings. Indra said " the audience finds our performances very exciting and fresh, hence the reason for many singers hiring us to accompany them".
As I stood in the Temple in Mc Bean and watched the group go through their paces that afternoon, I was amazed by the way they were putting the pieces together for a dance that they were preparing for the Pichakaree Competition where they will be supporting three finalists. It is amazing that they have to learn three different dances for a performance that was just a week away.
Says Indra, "Maintaining a dance group is a very costly thing and as the manager said if they didn't have a sponsor
Last Updated (Friday, 25 September 2009 19:14)