11 Aug 2015 19:11 IST

Indianness is our X factor: Desihoppers

Indian dance troupe, Desihoppers is all set to perform in LA at an international dance competition

The Indian dance troupe is all set to compete at World of Dance, an international dance competition

Indian dance troupe Desihoppers — a group of 10 dancers from across the country — are all geared up to compete in the World of Dance competition, that will be held in Los Angeles later this week. The strong point that they think will make them stand out? “Indianness”.

Shantanu Maheshwari, a member of the troupe, says they will make their performance unique by “mixing Indian and international dance style”. “We will add Indian elements into our dance, and that will help bring out our uniqueness. There are a lot of people who say they will include Indian elements in their performance, but few actually do that. We, however, are very keen on using those because that is what our ‘X’ factor is,” Maheshwari said before flying to Los Angeles.

The troupe, initiated by trio Maheshwari, Macedon D’mello and Nimit Kotian, will be competing in world finals of the World of Dance on August 16.

Since 2008, the event has united the dance community from the US, Europe, South America, Asia, and Canada, to celebrate the lifestyle and culture of urban dance and music.

Dance documentation

For the dance crew, the experience it seems to be straight out of Bollywood films like “ABCD 2” and “Happy New Year”, where desi dance troupes vied at international dance competitions. Desihoppers’s whole journey of making their dream into a reality has been chronicled in a reality TV show “bindass NAACH”. It will be a 10-episode show that will go on air on August 16.

Strenuous training

The dancers have undergone strenuous training schedule to be a notch above the international dance standards and have been mentored by Jaja Vankova, a choreographer from the Czech Republic, who is also of “So You Think You Can Dance” fame. Vankova gave them insights on how to present their act, how to create a stage presence and other vital nuances. Indian ace choreographer Terence Lewis also guided the troupe.

Maheshwari, who hails from Kolkata and who has acted in serial “Dil, Dosti, Dance”, says they know the areas they need to focus on to be a step ahead in the competition. “We have to be very clean because their (foreign dancers’) movements are very sharp; and we believe more in enjoyment, while they believe in cleanliness and techniques. We have to blend in the two with ease so that we stand out,” Maheshwari said.

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