Photo provided by Anusha Shivram
Photo provided by Anusha Shivram

Interview with the Indian Culture & Dance Club

As a final part of the introduction to dance scenes around campus, I interviewed the president of the recently established Indian Culture & Dance Club (ICDC), Anusha Shivram!

Lynn Liong: When was the dance club established?

Anusha Shivram: Actually, this is my first year here, and I started this club about two months after I got into UBCO, so around October. We started doing small events, not too large-scale because we were still starting up and figuring out the ropes and stuff. So, just last year.

LL: Seeing that you guys are pretty new, tell me a little bit more about the club.

AS: I would say the club is primarily to connect people to Indian culture. I realized after coming to UBCO that no club represented the Indian culture. Whereas there are a lot of universities overseas and stuff. And I felt I needed to share this part of me, which is important because back home, I'm from Singapore, I enjoy dancing and bringing a team together and just having fun sharing the ordinary things we all like. But I felt it wasn't present here, so I wanted to provide that platform for everyone just to come together and celebrate Indian festivals and celebrate dance pieces. So it's just a bunch of events that we do, plus dancing for these events.

LL: What kind of dances do you guys usually do?

AS: In Indian dance, there are multiple genres. There's classical, there's modern, there's Bollywood, which everybody is very familiar with, and there are even folk dances which are more traditional than the others types of dancing. All of these can be put in a modern spin or even a traditional spin, so it mixes well. It's like a melting pot of different styles of dance. The ones that we are most familiar with now is Bollywood dance. So it's a lot of pop moves, and it's less traditional, but during the Harmony 2017 performance, we did a traditional dance. It was between two dancers, and we performed Bharatnatyam, which is a very traditional dance form. We do a lot of different styles; it's a lot of variety.

LL: Do you make your choreography?

AS: Yes. Initially, we started out as a three people team, but I realized to make this club bigger, we need to expand. So now, we're a team of nine executive members, and in that team, we have two choreographers. We always choreograph our pieces and then put them out there.

LL: What events have you guys performed at so far?

AS: Last year, we did Eid Diwali, which is a celebration of two significant festivals, Eid and Diwali, that was in conjunction with SASA, the South Asian Student Alliance. They put up this event, and we wanted to be a part of it, so we put up a performance there. Then for Harmony 2017, we also put up a small performance.

LL: As the club hasn’t been performing for too long, how were the performances received by the students? Were they good?

AS: Yeah! Because it's something new and it's something not seen on campus very often. Especially our Eid Diwali performance, there was a mix of different styles, and our last one was Bhangra. A lot of people here are from Punjab, so that's really where this Bhangra style is from. The moment they heard that we were dancing the Bhangra, the song started playing, and they started screaming. They loved it so much! It was well-received.

LL: If students are interested in joining the team, how should they contact you?

AS: They can always contact us through our Facebook page, the UBCO Indian Culture and Dance Club, to say that they're interested in dancing with us or being part of any of our performances. Every time we have an event or upcoming performance, we will usually ask the dancers that come regularly, but we also continue to put out forms. Like for the Grad Ball performance, we put out forms asking for dancers interested. We don't want to make it exclusive for anyone. As long as people have the interest to dance, they can pick up the steps very fast.