Video transcript
@The Arts Unit Art Bites – Indian dance – 04. Fusion part 3

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[music playing]

[non-english singing]

SHYAMLA ESWARAN: Namaste, and welcome. We are about to do part 3 of a three-part series on Indian fusion dance. My name is Shyamla, and I'm a Bollywood choreographer for School Spectacular.

Today, we are actually doing the third part of a series. Part 1 was an introduction to Indian hand gestures-- mudras-- as well as a bit of an introduction to semi-classical Indian dance. Part 2 built on part 1, to show you a bit more semi-classical movements. And today we're going to be doing part 3, which is going to involve a little bit of tutting from hip hop, a little bit of hip shaking from Bollywood, and a few Collywood moves, as well.

You may want to check out part 1 and part 2 before you try part 3. However, if you just want to jump into part 3 and try and do something a bit different, you're more than welcome to. But please don't forget, this is online. You have the luxury of being able to pause, rewind, and go back. Don't feel like you have to keep up with me. If you need to pause and repeat some sections, that is totally fine.

Let's jump straight into a bit of a warm up so that we can get our bodies moving. And for something a bit different, we're going to warm up to a Collywood song. It's a village dance. It's full of energy and pelvic thrust, and is perfect for getting warm in winter. So let's go.

[non-english singing]

I'm going to jump straight into part 3 of this choreography, but if you do want to revisit part 1 and part 2, feel free to do so now. The connecting part from the end of part 2 was where we spun around and came together. So we're going to start from this position because this is where we would have ended in part 2.

From here, we're going to drop our hands and our legs to the side, and jump out. One. Now you're going to hit your left heel forward, and sit into your right hip. You're going to stand back up, and then hit your right heel forward in the same way. Sped up, it will look like this. One and two and. It's a bit weird to do it slow.

Let's try it, again. You're here. 6, 7, 8. One and two and.

You're going to keep those feet, but this time, you're going to add a clap that goes around like you're clapping and catching a cricket ball. It's a bit of a Punjabi [inaudible] clap. It goes around and in. Let's just try that. Around, clap, in. Around, around. That's it. So when you connect it all, it looks like this. One, left heel, two, right heel, three, clap, four, clap.

With your claps, as your straightening up, your arms are continuous. They're moving around. So without the music, it looks like this. You finished here. One and two and three and four and-- can we try it together? A little bit faster, from here.

Five, six, seven, eight. One, and two and three and four and-- your weight should be in your left hip. Got that? OK, because it's important as we're going to transfer our weight straight up into our right hip, and what you would call a pony in Indian dance, we call dipping.

So you're going to transfer your weight up into a hip, for five, then sit back on and-- and up on six, and then you're going to just add a head for seven and eight and. So it will look like this. One and two and three and four and five and six and seven and eight and--

So you add the left hand to your right hip on the seven. One more time from here. One and two and three and four and up, down, up, down, left hand on your head. Just repeat that over and over again. Let's try it with the music.

[music playing]

And now we're going to do something that you might know, a style called tutting that comes from hip hop. Now whenever you do tutting, you have to be mindful that we're trying to make very clean angles. So let's take a moment to just stretch our wrists. Give it a good shake.

Your fingers need to be pressed together, but with energy flowing through them. No gaps. Nothing like this. No mittens, no thumbs or pinkies sticking out. And your angles all have to be like a 90-degree angle. Circle our wrists. And let's give it a go.

We're now going to do just the arms, both hands, one. That's it, make sure your fingertips and your wrists are in line with your head. And-- so you've got praying hands above your head. Two, bring it down. That's it, stick with me, one step at a time.

And-- right hand slides up. Three-- and now right hand is going to maintain this shape and just hinge. Four, very good. Let's just go there. Just the hands. We finished here, And then we're just going to jump out with our feet into second position.

And, down. Two and three and four. That's it. All you need to do is think about each move, one at a time, and stay with it. Let's try the first four again. Starting from here, five, six, seven, eight. One and two and three and four.

If you're struggling with that, just rewind and keep practicing that little section until you have it. Because we are going to speed that up to this. Six, seven, eight. One and two and three and four. And we want to make sure each of those angles is really beautiful and strong. Kind of like shading my eyes from the sun. But make sure there's a straight line from your wrist to your elbow to the bottom of your wrist.

This is four. Now we're going to flick our hands, and we go right. Up, we go left. Now this is like a reaction. As the left hand comes, the right hand tips to do this position, which is a very popular Indian pose. And you need to try and line your wrists up with your fingertips, like that.

Five, then you're going to change it. Come to the middle. Six, and continuous circle. Push it, bottom hand goes down, top hand goes out. And seven, ending with your right hand on top.

Feet just do three things. They move on one, seven, and eight. On one, they simply jump out. On seven, they jump back in. And on eight, you move forward with your left foot, like I'm coming through. Let's try and connect that with our hands.

From here. Five, six, seven, eight. One and two and three and four and swing five, six, bend and seven, right hand on top, and-- so from here I simply extend my hands like a pair of scissors, and pull myself forward like this with my hands, and come forward on my left foot. And eight.

Let's try the whole sequence of the tutting with the hands and the feet. From here. Five, six, seven, eight. One and two and three and four and five, six, and seven and eight. Let's just try that tut with the music at three different speeds. Let's go.

[music playing]

Why don't we try and connect the first sequence with the tutting. Five, six, seven-- from the top. One and two and, and, and five and six and seven and eight and one and two and three and four and a five, six, bend together, and eight.

Luckily for you, this next section is a lovely breeze. Just think feet. We go one, stepping back onto my right. One, two, stepping back onto my left. Now I want you to come up. Three, then sink for four. Four, five, six, left up. Seven, but my weight is still on it. Eight.

Looks a bit strange without the body movement, because what we're going to do is wave in to our body. So think about ripples in an ocean. As you step on your right foot, you've got a body roll like this. Five, six, seven, eight. We've got body roll, body roll up, body roll, body roll up. Body roll.

And try to make sure you're body rolling your chest. You're not doing it with your shoulders. And you can even move it back a bit. Seven, eight, one, two, up, roll. One, two, up, roll. That's it.

And the hips are going to pour over each side. So it goes like this. Right, left, right, pause, right, left, right. And then you'll notice I'm a little bit pigeon-toed when I put this one down. Then you're going to quickly zip your foot together, heel, toe, heel, toe.

Right leg will come up. Up, down. And that's where we're going to finish. Let's go. We go one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. And then hold your upper body so we can see the bottom half. One, two, three, and four, five, pigeon toes, six, heel, toe, heel, toe.

All you're going to do here is throw your hands up, like you're throwing a ball, with your foot at the same time. Right foot, right hand. Throw. Catch. And you're going to catch in [inaudible] Padma, which you would have learned if you did our Mudra tutorial.

Six, seven, eight. We go body roll, body roll, up. Sink, body roll, body roll, up. Sink. Hips, one, two, three, and four, five, six, in, up, down. Let's try it with the music.

[music playing]

How did you go? Trying something very different and new? It is challenging, but we have the time now to try new things. And unlike a normal class, where you feel pressure to get it within the hour or hour and a half that you're in the studio, you've got the opportunity to really practise right now.

So I hope that that is what you're doing. Work with what you've got. Because as dancers, we have to, have to, have to keep dancing. Thank you for trying something new with me today. Don't forget to check out part 1 and part 2.

And go over this as many times as you wish. Use this moment to breathe and strengthen and try some new things. Thank you so much for trying some Indian fusion with me. Namaste, Shukriya, Dhanyavaad, Nandri.

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