The children of Staford School put on their dancing shoes for the inter-house folk dance competition this Friday, 7 February 2014. Celebrating the amazing vitality and variety of Indian culture, the four houses of our school: Amber, Garnet, Emerald, and Sapphire, chose to dance to the beats of Gujarati dandiya, Rajasthani folk, Punjabi bhangra and Marathi dindi.
The competition was a tough one, especially because the children got only one week to prepare with barely 40 minutes of practice each day. The rules of the competition required at least two children each from all sections of classes 1 to 6; this made choreographing and getting perfect synchronization among the participants of various ages, heights and built even more difficult. The house in-charges and teachers, however, did their best to train and prepare the team of 14 – 15 participants from each of their houses by optimizing the talent and abilities of each child.
The D-day arrived, and the young enthusiasts performed in front of a cheering and supportive audience of their peers, and housemates. The spirit of competition was evident with each performance outdoing the other. The young and energetic performers wooed the audience with not just their dancing skills, but also with their presentation, costume, elaborate jewellery and make-up to match their chosen folk-dance form.
Each house impressed the judges, and the audience with their impression and expression of folk dances. Amber House performed on Gokul Aao Krishna and had the audience clapping to the beats of the dancers’ dandiya. Up next was Garnet House’s performance on the Punjabi folk song- Nach di Soniya which enthralled the audiences with interesting bhangra steps and pyramid formations typical of Punjabi folk. Emerald House splashed the bright colours of the famed deserts of Rajasthan and brought to life through a beautifully choreographed dance, a medeley of Rajasthani folk songs such as morni and padharo mhare des. Finally, Sapphire House had the hall clapping to the beats of the Marathi dindi which glorified lord Ganesh in Marathi folk.
The judges for the day- our Principal, Mr. Singh and the Headmistress, Ms. Kumar, had a truly tough time deciding the winners. Choreography , synchronization and presentation were the parameters on which the dances were adjudged. Emerald House stood first with 53.5 points, Garnet House came in second with an aggregate of 46 points with just one point separating them from the third place holders- Amber House at 45, who in turn, literally scraped ahead of Sapphire House, who scored 44 points.
The Principal’s message at the end of the event, was one that congratulated each participant and emphasized on the learning- the take away from the competition- that India is a land of unity in diversity and we must celebrate it. He also reiterated that competing was important, but enjoying what we do and making our presence felt with our participation, was even more important.