Hollywood to Bollywood: The Bollywood Influence


Photos: Navin Mediwala & Murali Santhana

Click here for Photo Collage

By Vanshika Vipin

STAFFORD: On March 5, the curtains of Old Stafford Civic centre opened up to a troupe of extremely talented performers that pranced and pirouetted across the stage. Yes, this was the much-awaited “ Just Dance 2016 ” event presented by Rhythm India with the theme “Hollywood to Bollywood”. Between the two shows of this event (4 pm & 8pm), there were 270 performers that put together their love and passion for this grand show.


Rhythm India was started by Arzan Gonda in 2005, with a mission to create awareness and spread the South Asian culture and heritage through the means of dance and theatre in Houston. Since then, Arzan, who is the Founder & Artistic Director of Rhythm India, and her troupe have captivated and mesmerized audiences throughout Houston with structured Bollywood dances. Rhythm India serves as a platform for the talented and hard working dancers to perform at a professional level. The entire format of the event is made lively and energetic with gorgeous costumes, perfect lighting and sound. Arzan, through Rhythm India, strives to promote Indo-American culture and Bollywood dance in the greater Houston area, and thereby she aims at creating cherishable memories for each of her dancers. She wants to take the audience on a journey, to be able to feel their passion, emotion and intention.

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This memorable event showcased talents in the various genres of dance forms. Some of the performers were as young as 4 years of age. Yaksha Bhatt and Sibin Chacko were the entertaining emcees for the event and they were successful in keeping the audiences amused. During the Latin section the Bharata Natyam & Flamenco Jugalbandhi blew the audiences away. It beautifully showcased a mash up of these two styles and how Indian dance had an influence on the Flamenco style of dance. For this breathtaking show, Arzan had collaborated with the talented Artistic director of Danmar Dance Studio, Maria Fernanda Urbaez, and her dancers. She later spoke spoke to the audience about the influence of Bharata Natyam on Latin dances. Not only did this event witness action from Arzan’s troupe but also from a sporting audience who was none other than dancer and actor Rishi Goswani. Rishi thrilled the audience with his hip-hop moves. The finale brought everyone to their feet as all the seniors, youth intermediate and youth advance groups opened it with “D Se Dance”, followed by the entire cast and crew of the show that came on stage for their final bows.  The show ended with Arzan coming up on stage to express her heartfelt gratitude for the entire Rhythm India Staff and team who worked tirelessly to reach at the level they were in this 11th year. She thanked her mom for always helping her out with beautiful costumes that make heads turn. It was a pleasant surprise for the audiences as Arzan Gonda announced the next performance of Rhythm India at Half time, on Sunday, April 10, at the Toyota Center, as the Houston Rockets take on the LA Lakers. “It’s a big game for us as it is Kobe Bryant’s last game at the Toyota Center”, she said.

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A lot of sweat goes into the back end management and operations and the credit would go to Rashna Oak who ensured the show was smooth and memorable for the audiences. The audience was so thrilled and impressed with the entire show that in spite of no breaks during the 90-minute non-stop show they were glued onto their seats, throughout.

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Rhythm India’s “ Just Dance” show was so loved by the audience. Below are some of the comments that were received from the audience:

•This was truly the BEST JUST Dance Performance of Rhythm India show in 5 years . Arzan , you and your entire Rhythm India team did an Awesome Job ! From Beautiful Costumes to Dynamic Dances with Fusion of The EAST And The WEST , the Journey from Bollywood to Hollywood was a perfect Title.

Arzan, your energy and enthusiasm inspires your entire team and your students !

Thx to all of You and the Entire Rhythm India team – Dr Randeep Suneja

•Last evenings performance was mind blowing. Nonstop dance performance. Stunned by the energy levels of your students. Hats off Arzan for putting up a wholesome entertainment. – Ramji Ramasubramanian

•Was so proud and happy to be part of Just Dance 2016 … the energy, the finesse, the set design, costumes..everything was insane … Thanks Arzan Patel Gonda and Tanisha Hirani – Sandhya Kommuri

Rhythm India will be hosting an exclusive two day intensive dance workshop with DID Winner / Dance Plus Judge and Celebrity Dancer Shakti Mohan in Houston on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24. This workshop is open to anyone over 8 years of age. To register for the workshop go to www.rhythm-india.com OR email: paro@rhythm-india.com OR call: 281 968 9479. The spots fill up soon, so sign up now to secure your spot.

For more info call – 281 968 9479 or visit www.rhythm-india.com