Tathastu – The Granted Wishes

Tathastu – The Granted Wishes (A Successful Production)  – THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME AND SUPPORTED US

Finally, the 4th independent production of Project Pulse “TATHAASTU – THE GRANTED WISHES” is over. The show was very well received the audience really loved the story telling aspect of the show.

FEW OF THE TESTIMONIALS RECEIVED FROM THE AUDIENCE:

To the Tathastu Team – such a successful dance. The organizational arrangements went so smoothly and thought it was brilliant. Project Pulse is an inspiration to us all – you make us Desi’s look so good. A wide range of abilities and talent showcased in a short time. Without a doubt it was a huge success!  Real nice.

Maybe a larger venue next year? Real crowded this time.

Nitin Mangi

Great show and awesome effort. I guess Project Pulse is the only group trying out something different each year like this than just regular dance. Conveying story through dance was very nice and congrats to that attempt. The background, concept, costumes, choreography, energy levels everything was awesome. The river concept in viswamitra story and small kid were excellent, thoroughly enjoyed it. The statues dancing idea was also very good.

GK

“Project Pulse outdoes themselves… :)… u guys killed it… i’m so glad i came out yesterday.”

Kartik Aiyer

“You were all A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! I loved each and every piece of TAthasthu. Colorful costumes, very good attention to details, good time management, awesome energy and Great TEAMWORK! You guys always JUST Do It in STYLE & r the BEST!!!  In YOUR MC style “may u have many many many more colorful, enjoyable & sucessful productions like theSe,TATHASTHU!!!!:)))))”

Divya Hegde

“yesterday’s show was phenomenal!!! the best i have seen to date. very very well done. i especially liked the story telling aspect w/ various stories. and the sculpture story was very well done.”

Anirban Kundu

Dancers, you were  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!, your show “Tathastu – The Granted Wishes” rocked!!!!! WOW!!!

Nima George

“this is the first PP show I watched last night …. It was absolutely Fantabulous. I regret that I did not watch the previous shows !!! All of you were great ….. All the hard work showed ….. amazing show.”

Jyothsna Chodagam

The last piece is stuck in my head………..it was amazing …………loved the last 2 stories so much…………..I want the video of the last piece…….just one word for it………..”A”MAZING !!!!!!!!!!!

Bhavini Joshi

I watched Tathaasthu today along with the rest of my immediate family. The show rocked! The dancing ability and creative choreography of your group is phenomenal! Loved it!

Harish Agastya

quoting one of my friends: “…especially the last story of the sculptor gave me goose bumps :)”

Divya Kumar

“I HAVE FILMED FOR 25 YEARS , I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS”

Neil (DesiUSA tv)

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Right, would you mind listing the music from the show? I thought it was a great selection and the production values were terrific

Navin

Inspiration – Tough But Achievable !!!

Well as we have always known, and we have always done, we save the best and we save it for the last. With Project Pulse’s – Tathastu event just a stone throw away this coming weekend, the last story had to be something jaw dropping and a message that each and everyone who is going to be present at the event can carry with them back home, and more importantly keep coming back again and again for many more of Project Pulse’s Dance exhibitions.

This last story revolves around an artistic sculptor, succesful, talented and gifted, someone with extraordinary qualities of carving out amazing sculptures and had the entire world at his feet for this unique and creative ability of his. It was this gift of his which had brought him tremendous fame, money and contentment to his life. It was this task that he enjoyed the most and was the best at. This artist had given up a lot in his journey and had gone through a lot of ups and downs before he had reached his pinnacle.

It is said, that the stones used to listen to his creative ideas and transform themselves into what this artist wished for. Such was his imagination and potential that he was able to carve out great works out of these stones with just a word to them and the stones would obediently follow their master’s commands. Such was his passion and control on the stones that he carved, that people believed he possessed special artistic powers.

With such aura on his side, when a job of getting the world’s most amazing, mesmerizing and awe striking sculpture was to be pursued, his was the only name that anyone on earth could remember of. The work even though challenging the rewards were spell bounding. The artist committed to producing a master piece and with such excitement and pomp he started out to carve one of the wonders of the world. But what happened was completely the opposite.

Days got miserable as this artist tried hard to get his work done, depression and anxiety followed, with the artist losing confidence and the desire of carving an amazing sculpture. Why? What happened? What took him apart that he got so much disheartened that he had to give up being a sculptor?

And then one fine day, the sunlight broke from within the clouds, as this artist came across a life changing experience which not only woke him wide awake from his life’s miseries but it also brought back that charm, the zeal and most importantly that creative ability of his to get him back on track as he went on to create one of world’s never seen before sculpture. He got back his motivation and was even more inspired as he found his magic back within him and to his delight also found that the stones once again were taking the shape of their master’s wish. What did he come across? What brought this sudden change in him?

What was that inspiring moment in his life that helped this artist end his trauma and bring back satisfaction, happiness and control over his best friends – the stones !

To get to know this artist and his life changing experiences be present at Tathastu – Project Pulse’s Dance Show this weekend 7th/8th November 2009. For tickets and event information : Click Here

“The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be” – Horace Bushnell

Togetherness – A Family’s Ordeal !!!

The love of a family is life’s greatest blessing, be it any kind, ancestoral or friends, professional or spiritual, but the sense of belonging to a cohesive group of people, is what helps us get through the best and the worst phase of our life, together, hand in hand with the people who care for us, and with the people whom we care about. Project Pulse’s – Tathastu, which exploits one such trait is the feeling of togetherness, a musical display portraying the emotions of a family, and the type of roller cosater ride that each member of a family experiences.

A family is not always about being happy, having the best of whatever one needs in life, but alongside these merrier moments, it takes a lot from each member of the family to keep that bond of togetherness strong and more importantly pass it on to their younger ones to carry it forward. This musical story from the talented and passionate dancers at Tathastu speaks about not only how life is all rosy with your parents, brothers and sisters around, a life where all challenges are faced bravely, but also speaks about how sacrifices are made and how they adhere to the well being of the entire family.

The family in this story has a father and a mother who along with their 4 children, one brother and three sisters embark upon a journey of happiness and sorrow, patience and anxiousness. An incident which befalls upon them,  affects Mayank, the only son in the family,  and this fable is about how they overcome this painful ordeal, a journey which they traverse through seas of emotions , an ordeal which they fought with, staying together as one. The act puts before you the lack of hope from Mayank’s sisters, the feeling of despair and disbelief from a father for his only son, and the pain and love of a mother whose eyes are still sore with the grief.

What happened with Mayank? Which incident led to his parents’ sorrow? Will Mayank’s parents regain their long gone happiness or will they move on with life and their family! How would a family react to either of these life changing experiences? How would you feel about this pulsating climax? As rightly said, other things may change us, but we always start and end with a family !!!

Come witness this intense emotional act and the suspense unfold at Project Pulse’s – Tathastu @ 7/8th November, 2009. For more details about the event and to purchase tickets: Click Here

Stay tuned for Project Pulse – Tathastu’s last story next week…

Till then, take care, and love your family above everything else !!!

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained” – Winston Churchill

Ciao …

!Samkit Shah!

Passion – The Rush of Adrenaline !!!

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.  ~Benjamin Franklin

Passion is what drives a human soul – in either direction – be it good or bad – and at the end the perseverance and dedication combined with the passionate actions of a person is what defines the ultimate outcome. How many times have we seen people faltering due to lack of motivation, people who have been devoid of any passion have seen their own downfall and have no one to blame but their own lack of commitment and hard-work. Since there are always two sides of a coin, the other side which is driven by devotion has always seen success in leaps and bounds and when asked the secret behind their progress they have only one word to say – PASSION !

The second story of Project Pulse’s Tathastu Event is more or less along similar lines, where the musical extravaganza will portray a fable about passion, taking you through an emotional rollercoaster ride, a journey of ups and downs, a story about how an ordinary guy, someone with a very simple but passionate hobby about dancing, was humiliated and abused by the pros of the industry and yet he came forward carrying his confidence, his will power and more importantly his dream about dancing, and stunned those same so-called pros of the dancing industry.

This story is about Shashank, a mere spot boy on one of the film sets. His background is something that he could not boast about, and his dreams were something he had never expected to be true, but yet this simple yet talented soul, did not lose heart when he was pushed on the back foot, never gave up on himself and more importantly rose above all the criticism, and with his courage and fire that he had within himself came forward to put his best foot ahead and simply mesmerized the audience with his unique dancing style.

He not only got applauded at the end, but he was also given the opportunity to fulfill his long time dream. He was given one chance, and that is all that he needed to make his dream become a reality. What his dream was? What was he passionate about? What exactly happened on the film set?

Embark upon this ride and be a part of this agonizing yet rewarding journey of Shashank, the spot boy, and see for yourself as all these questions unfold before you and who knows, you might even have your own dream which you would love to fulfill with passion. Be a part of Project Pulse’s Tathastu (7/8 November) and have a one on one with your own passionate dream.

One of the things that may get in the way of people being lifelong learners is that they are not in touch with their passion. If you are passionate about what it is you do, then you are going to be looking for everything you can to get better at it. ~ Jack Canfield

!Samkit Shah!

The inevitable course of Destiny

Come gather around. Bring a cup of hot, delicious coffee and curl up. Let me tell you a story. A story of gods and mortals. A story of sin and redemption. A story of the inevitable course of destiny. A story about the man that gave India it’s name.

It was a time when myth intertwined with reality and legends were born. It was a time when demi-gods walked the earth and noble sages bent the will of gods with the strength of their penance. One such sage was Vishwamitra, the wisest, most austere and the most powerful sage that walked the earth. He had lived an ascetic life and the sole purpose of his life was to attain Nirvana. He was in an enviable position of being mortal on the verge of attaining godhood and hence become the sole person to have control over Heaven and Earth. He had mediated for many years and when it seemed he would achieve his goals Lord Indra, the King of Gods felt threatened by him. He summoned the most beautiful apsara (heavenly maiden), Menaka, from his court. He asked Menaka to use all her guiles to break Vishwamitra’s meditation, to seduce him and break his vow of celibacy.

Menaka descended to earth where Vishwamitra was meditating. She saw Vishwamitra sitting serenely under a tree, meditating and she walked over to him, her anklets making a beautiful tinkling sound. She walked around the tree letting her sweet fragrance envelope Vishwamitra. A mere mortal would do whatever she wanted after a whiff of her fragrance but Vishwamitra didn’t even open his eyes. When Menaka saw this she raised an eyebrow and gave a laugh. Her laugh was like the sound of a thousand tiny bells ringing in perfect harmony. It was teasing, enticing, innocent, pure and desirable all in one. Vishwamitra still did not budge. Menaka was perturbed and excited at the same time. Here was a man who seemed to be totally unaware of her beauty and sensuality. Here was a man who could pose a challenge and it excited her.

One by one she went through her r’epertoire of dances. Flirtatious, passionate, seductive, her dances would have broken the will of any man and it started to chip away at Vishwamitra’s will too. Menaka’s final dance was her most seductive and passionate dance and by the end of it Vishwamitra was totally under her spell. She convinced him to break his meditation. They were married and shortly Menaka bore him a daughter. In the time they were together Vishwamitra’s guilt at breaking his vows gnawed at him and when his daughter was born the enormity of the sin he had committed dawned on him and he blamed Menaka for it. He walked back into the forest, never having seen his daughter, to do penance for his sin. Menaka her work done had to return to the court of Lord Indra so she left her daughter on the banks of the Himalayan river Malini.

That is where sage Kanva found the little girl surrounded by birds (Shakunton in Sanskrit) and hence he named her Shakuntala. Shakuntala grew up to be a beautiful woman. She was brought up in an asharam in the forest and loved all the animals of the forest. She sang with the birds and ran with the deer. One day her pet deer was shot with an arrow by King Dushyanta . The deer ran back to the asharam,scared and hurt, and the king followed it. At the asharam he found the deer being nursed in the arms of a young, beautiful girl and the king fell in love with Shakuntala at first sight. In those days no one had heard of a king marrying an orphan girl from an asharam so even though their love was strong they hid it from everyone. After a few weeks living in the asharam the king proposed to Shakuntala and they got secretly married and spent their wedding night together in the forest. The next day news came from the capital about political unrest due to the king’s long absence and the king had to return to his kingdom. But before he did, he promised Shakuntala he would send for her and gave her his ring of red rubies with the crest of his kingdom.

Days turned to weeks and weeks to months but no one came to get Shakuntala. She was frantic with worry because she was with child and soon everyone would know and ask questions. Yet months went by and sage Kanva seeing Shakuntala’s condition asked her to tell him everything. When Shakuntala had told him everything the sage felt angry and betrayed that the girl he had raised as his daughter had disobeyed him and hid her true feelings from him. He told her to leave the asharam and go to her husband’s palace. Shakuntala was distraught with worry and grief but she set out to meet Dushayanta. When she reached his palace she found Dushayanta a changed man. He failed to recognize her and scoffed at her claim that they were married. He was after all the King and he couldn’t have married an orphan girl with no royal blood in her. Heart broken Shakuntala left the palace and went into the forest where she gave birth to a handsome boy. She named him Sarvadamana (subduer of all). The boy grew up devoid of all human contact except his mother. His playmates were the beasts of the jungle. He rode tigers like they were horses. He had no fear of the fiercest of creatures. He would open the mouth of a bear twice his size with is bare hands just to count its teeth.

As he grew older Sarvadamana grew curious about his father and Shakuntala thought the boy deserved to know who his father was and that his destiny was to be a king. She took him back to Dushayanta’s palace and there among all his ministers she argued with the king, presenting her side of the story, trying to convince everyone that she was indeed the king’s wife. Finally she remembered the ring the king had given her and when she showed everyone the ring, Dushayanta finally relented and admitted that they were married. He told Shakuntala he had spent all the years apart in grief and agony at having shun his pregnant wife because of societal pressure and he apologized profusely.

Shakuntala was overcome with relief and joy at finally being accepted as the king’s wife and thus restoring her honor. She sent for her son and presented him to the king. The king looked at the handsome, strong young man and took him into his arms showering him with fatherly love. From that day on Sarvadamana became part of the King’s family and he was given a new name, Bharata (the cherished one). As the years went by Bharata proved himself to be a virtuous, wise and just ruler. He conquered many lands and brought them all under his rule. It was the first time that many of the kingdoms of old had come under one banner. He was a benevolent ruler and brought on an era of peace and prosperity to his kingdom. His kingdom was called Bharatvarsh (the land of Bharata). It was his destiny to rule over India and no matter how many obstacles got in his way, there was nothing that could alter the inevitable course of destiny.

Thus began the history of India.

This is one of the stories of Tathastu-Granted Wishes

~Palak Chokshi~

Extra!! Extra!! Extra!! Read all about it. Win tickets to see Tathastu!!

Well well well what do you know?  The Project Pulse team just launched a Ticket contest. Check out the rules below:

1. Follow Project Pulse on Twitter and automatically get entered to win 2 tickets for Tathastu.
2. Every tweet about Project Pulse and/or Tathastu (#Tathastu or @ProjectPulse) will get you an extra entry to the raffle. The more you tweet the more entries you get. We will track tweets using ViralHeat.
3. All fans of Project Pulse on Facebook are automatically entered to win 2 tickets for Tathastu.
4. For every friend on your list on Facebook that becomes a fan you get one more entry to the raffle. Please ask your friend to message Project Pulse on Facebook, about who referred them. That friend is also automatically entered to win the 2 tickets for Tathastu.
5. Link your Facebook to your Twitter account and we will track your Facebook status updates for mentions of Project Pulse or Tathastu. For every mention of either you get an extra entry for the raffle.
6. Winner will be selected by lottery and notified via their Facebook or Twitter accounts.
7. Drawing will take place on 26th October, 2009 and winner will be notified latest by 27th October, 2009.

A Dekko Into Performances And The Pulsating Performers

The past week’s blog post by Palak, must have fulfilled your curiosity about Bollywood dance and some of you might have gone one step further, to learn more about it by browsing through a lot of content on the web, checking out dancing styles, videos and shoots, stories and articles and might have come across all sorts of fancy links. This week’s post might just help you reach that final destination in your journey of enlightenment, which won’t end, but has just begun, with more to come – many weeks full of energy, fun, stories and above all one thing that all you feet moving people love – Dance !!!

One thing that amazes people when they be a part of Project Pulse’s showcases and events, is the fact that how a bunch of ordinary yet talented people, fun loving but hard working artists, come together, as one unit, as a single soul, with no distinct heartbeats, but with identical pulse rates, and deliver stunning performances with each passing event. People who have already been there and have had witnessed this team’s creative work have never left disappointed and have been faithful in terms of showing up at each of the event that Project Pulse comes out with. The fan following has been amazing over the past years of Project Pulse’s evolvement as an impeccable dancing unit. The success has been tremendous and the rise of the stars has been exponentially upwards.

For those of you who have already been a part of our journey, it is time to recollect those past wonderful experiences that you have been through, and for those who are still on the verge of claiming themselves as the true fans of Project Pulse, it is time that we help you jump over the edge into our arena, sweep you off your feet and make you land in the wonderful imaginatively creative event coming up in a few weeks. This week, let’s rewind back to some of the showcases that Project Pulse have portrayed so far mesmerizing thousands of people into loving our performances.

Project Pulse Choreography Reel : Click Here

“Party Song” – Ehsaas : Click Here

“Tashaan” – 8000 Miles Away : Click Here

All these shows, events, dances, plays and the entire Project Pulse entertainment package is incomplete without its core performers and people behind the scenes who have put in so much of dedicated hard work, making efforts to give a flawless performance every time they light up that stage and enthrall the audience. To get a glimpse of people who are going to be participating in this year’s showcase and the choreographers who would be guiding them produce a spectacular show in about a month’s time, let’s get a little bit up close and personal to get well acquainted with the history behind these artists, performers and more importantly the heart and soul of Project Pulse upcoming event.

FOUNDERS

Sudeep Kumar

Sudeep is an accomplished and a versatile choreographer who has undergone training in Hip-Hop and Jazz type of dance forms. The unique feature of his performances is the usage of these styles in an orthodox yet unique fashion. He has been in this domain for the past 10 years and has received formal training from Ashley Lobo, who happens to be the official choreographer of the song “Dhoom Machale” from the movie Dhoom. He has also undergone training for Hip-Hop with a mix from acclaimed choreographers Allan Frais (San Francisco based Hip-Hop star who made it to the final 12 for the show “So You Think You Can Dance”) and Micaya (Organizer of San Francisco Hip-Hop Festival). To add to this exposure, Sudeep has also received professional training from ACT (American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco).

Prathima Venkatesan

A fan of Michael Jackson and Madonna, Prathima’s interest in dance has taken her to all parts of the world since she began dancing to all forms of music. She can perform to any kind of beats and rhythm and has received training in Hip-Hop, Belly Dancing, Break Dancing and Contemporary forms. Her first ground breaking performance which got great reviews was in the showcase 8000 Miles Away which she choreographed. The emotions brought out in that piece was a mixture of Contemporary and Lyrical dance forms. She has also been performing at talent shows, music events and for many non-profit organizations like Udavum Karangal and Zingaris. Her past performances were with Summet (Canadian born R&B singer featured on MTV) at the NRI Global Pageant on the tunes of “Agony” and “Get On Your Feet”.

CHOREOGRAPHERS

Meet Aghera

Having started from an early age of 5, watching himself dance in front of the mirror, Meet’s curiosity forced him to participate in lot of cultural events during school days and that interest in dance continued during his college days too. Coming to the US, he explored his passion for dance on various platforms, but then he came across the auditions of Project Pulse for their first production “Natya”. That really kicked off his talent and he right away knew that he had landed in the right place with Project Pulse. Since then, he has never looked back and has been an integral part of Project Pulse with his first major appreciation coming for his piece which he co-choreographed in PP’s last production “8000 Miles Away”. This year he is going to be one of the front choreographers in putting together a piece for PP’s upcoming event “Tathastu” and looks forward to capturing everyone’s hearts.

Swapnil Mehta

With his skills ranging in Western, Bollywood, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Contemporary dancing styles, Swapnil is a versatile dancer who has the knack of picking up new dance styles in a short period of time. At the age of 9 he found his interest in dance and went into choreographing at the age of 17 thus introducing the trend of Western form of dance in his school. He has numerous accolades to his name having won various competitions and gaining appreciation in Bollywood Taandav and the fusion dance in Little Stars show, Kalyanji and Anandji. He has represented SVNIT University in the National Dance Competition in 2003. He has a natural talent of attracting people in huge numbers all over the Bay Area too.

Smita Basak

Beginning at the tender age of 2, Smita exploited her love for dance in Ballet, Tap and Jazz. She started Bharatnatyam at the age of 5 and happened to be the youngest dancer in her hometown who has performed her Arangetram when she was 10. As she turned 13, she was fully involved in dancing styles spanning Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Modern and Break Dancing. Smita’s profile boasts of participating in over 200 performances in various parts of US, Canada and Europe. She has also departed her knowledge and skills by conducting dance classes in her high school and has been an active member of the South Asian and American dance groups wherein experimenting with Eastern-Western dance styles.

Khyati Sheth

Kathak is what brought the dancing goddesses within Khyati to the front at the age of 8 and since then there has not been a single moment that she might have missed an opportunity to shake her legs and dance to all sorts of music. She is now well trained in Bollywood, Jazz, Contemporary and Ball-room dancing styles. She has been appreciated for her choreography and her personal performances in various cultural events. Having been associated with Project Pulse for 3 years now versatility is her biggest asset which she has gained since her joining PP. Sudeep Kumar has been her trainer for the past 2 years and Khyati looks forward to putting one more of her mesmerizing performances in this year’s showcase “Tathastu”.

Manisha Parekh

Manisha took dancing as her career when she was 5 starting as a Bharatnatyam student of Viji Prakash who is the director of the Shakti School of BharatNatyam in Los Angeles. After completing her Arangetram in 1999, Manisha got the chance of touring with the Shakti Dance Company to various locations in the US, Canada and India. Other than the traditional Bharatnatyam, she has also loved dancing on Bollywood and Rass/Garba tunes. Since her joining Project Pulse in 2006, she increased her portfolio to include the Contemporary and Modern forms of dancing as well. Having been associated with PP, Manisha feels that it has been an extremely eye opening and rewarding experience which has reinforced the values of discipline, confidence and creativity in all forms of dance for her.

Nihal Sequeira

Nihal has been a performer since the age of 10, initially dancing to traditional folk styles such as Baila and Jive and then eventually moving towards South Indian songs in schools and other city level festivals. This was followed by giving performances in Bollywood and Western fusion forms of dance, as a part of “Ocean Kids” in Mangalore under the guidance of Vinod Sequeira, a notable choreographer. Currently Nihal is into choreographing funk style locking in dance thus implementing a Hip-Hop form of dance. He has been receiving training from ShyGuy (Soul Sector) in San Francisco for the past year and has been an integral part of Project Pulse for about a year and a half performing under Sudeep Kumar.

DANCERS

Nick Oza

Nick started dancing at the ripe, young age of 18, during his freshman year of college. Thinking that being a part of a dance act would enable him to meet new people and learn more about his culture, he was not disappointed. Since then, dance has continually provided him a venue to engage with new friends while entertaining audiences. Nick has competitively and recreationally performed and choreographed many different South Asian styles of dance including Garba, Raas, Bhangra, and Bollywood/Filmi while also incorporating his American upbringing by adding a little Hip-Hop spice. Since joining Project Pulse in 2007, Nick has learned Modern and Contemporary styles of dance, and refined and expanded his Hip-Hop abilities by participating in both Ehsaas and 8000 Miles. He hopes to continue focusing and working hard with the end goal of wowing the audiences with a great performance in Tathastu!

Richa Khandelwal

Dancing has been as natural to her as breathing. After winning lots of prizes at numerous events she started her own venture in dancing lessons at a young age of 15. She choreographed Indian weddings end to end and managed all aspects of costumes and props apart from giving professional classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced level dancers, independently. She extended her passion for dancing into her college life where she was the choreographer for a group called “Nrityanjali” along with 7 dancers. The group won prizes in various intra and inter collegiate events all over India, including Nitrutsav’07 where her group was adjudged a winner by Rahul Saxena, renowned Salsa, Jazz and Hip Hop Dancer and a choreographer from Mumbai, India. Richa had also put together various prize-winning performances while she was working for Microsoft in Hyderabad, India. She had choreographed and performed at Microsoft’s renowned Annual Giving Campaign to raise over Rs.30,000 for charity in a single performance and her group had won the first prize at the renowned Utsaah 2008, an inter-corporate dance competition held in Hyderabad. She is trained in ballet and modern dance. In August 2008 she danced with Project Pulse for the first time in “8000 Miles Away” and has been working closely with Project Pulse ever since. Richa has been training under Sudeep for the past one year.

Koussalya

Koussalya started tapping her foot when she was 3 like most other kids and was eventually sent off to tap her feet in a dance class when she was 4. She started learning traditional south Indian Bharathanatyam from Guru Master, Selvam from then and went through rigorous training for 10 full years. She has won a National gold medal in the Bharathanatyam competition. Having learnt the basics she started doing folk numbers and western dances naturally for school functions and competitions. When she landed in US, she decided to formally learn other type of dancing and started with taking Fluid Flow(a mild form of ballet) dance class in Stanford. She has also performed for Asha for Education(non profit) with Zingaris. She came to project pulse to learn jazz and hip hop and was so much struck by the talent in PP that she decided to be a part of the PP family and here she is sharing the fun of dancing with a awesome group.

Renu Razdan

Since the age of 3, Renu regularly participated in cultural dance shows for Diwali and Ramnavmi at The Geeta Mandal of Indianapolis, the local temple where she grew up. During Middle School, Renu started making dance more than just a social past time and trained in Bharat Natyam for 3 years at The Kala Vikas Dance School. At high school, she placed into The Pike High School Mystiques, a competitive Show Dance Choir, where she learned Jazz and Broadway dance forms and competed with her team at State Level Championships. Watching old movies like Naache Mayuri to new movies including Madhuri’s tumkas or Aishwarya’s Nimbooda expressions, Renu had a liking for Bollywood dance the most and went on to participate in similar dance styles at Purdue ISA cultural events. After moving to the Bay Area, Renu found Project Pulse as an avenue to continue building her skills in contemporary, hip-hop, and locking dance styles. In 2007, she took part in Project Pulse’s Ehsaas production, and is now looking forward to being part of yet another great show: Tathastu.

Jaimy Philip

Jaimy first started dancing in high school because she enjoyed moving to music, meeting new people and being part of a team. It was also the perfect excuse to miss Physics and History! Moving on to her undergrads she continued to follow her liking for dance and joined the inter-collegiate team. Along the way she has participated in many local and state level events. On moving to the Bay Area, it was a chance encounter that led to hearing about Project Pulse and after attending a workshop with them she knew this was where she would continue pursuing her passion for dance. It was her first time receiving any formal training in dance and she enjoys learning different styles and challenging herself. As part of the Project Pulse team, she has trained under Khyati Sheth, Nihal Sequeira, Sudeep Kumar and Swapnil Mehta in the styles of Hip Hop, Contemporary and Locking. She is psyched to be part of this talented team!

Burges Karkaria

Burges grew up with a love of stage and theater. As a kid, he acted in several stage productions and even won “best actor award” across Bombay schools one year. His love for dancing emerged due to his passion for clubbing. When coming to the US he was enamoured by the freestyle street breakers and vowed to learn this skill someday. With no formal training his skills did not come close to his passion though and his dreams ran the risk of nver being materialised. He then saw a production by project pulse and decided to start training with them. His dream consists of leaving his job and breaking at the New York subway station for change 🙂 . Please be generous if you ever see him dancing on the streets with a tin can.

Bhoomi Patel

Bhoomi’s love for dance began in her childhood. She performed in various dances and Garba at her school functions, continuing to do so in the Undergrad college and then further continuing till her higher studies but something was missing which was professional training in any of the dance form. Then she found about Project Pulse and joined Khyati’s class followed by a selection in the auditions and then Sudeep’s workshop made it more comfortable. Finally as a part of Project pulse she is looking forward to learn more of Hip-Hop, Contemporary and many other forms of dancing.

Aarohi Desai

Aarohi’s passion for dance started with dancing on folk songs and imitating dance steps of bollwood songs at the age of 7. She has won prizes at local garba competitions and has also participated in dance performances at school and college level. Aarohi has been a national champion in Artistic skating which has given her a contemporary touch. She has never missed an opportunity to dance. She started taking classes at Project Pulse as she wanted to learn different forms of dance and later took workshops to meet the standards of Project Pulse. She hopes that with the guidance of great choreographers and hard work, she can leave a positive impact on the viewers.

Anjali Shah

Anjali’s passion for dance began at the age of 8 when she joined the Chhandam School of Kathak Dance, studying directly under her Guruji, Chitresh Das. During the 13 years she studied Kathak, she also trained in bhangra, bollywood, raas-garba, and experimented with other dance styles. Anjali choreographed and coordinated Bhangra, Kathak and Bollywood dances for Indus’s annual culture shows (UC Berkeley’s South Asian Student organization). She was also a member of UC Berkeley’s award winning Bhangra team in 2002, Raas-Garba team in 2003, and Hindi Film Dance team in 2004. Anjali joined Project Pulse this year with the hopes of expanding herself as a dancer and learning other forms of dance (hip hop, contemporary, jazz). Anjali believes dance is one of the purest forms of expression & creativity, and is excited to be a part of the Project Pulse team to share her love of dance!

Nithya Srinivasan

For Nithya dancing is an art of creating positive energy, not just for the dancer but also for the spectator. She has been passionate about dance ever since she could stand on her feet. She has performed classical, folk and Bollywood style dancing at various dance festivals and cultural events during her under graduate studies. She has been classically trained in Bharathnatyam for 4 years and looks upto Smt. Alarmel Valli, a creative genius for inspiration. Nithya continues to learn Pandanallur style of Bharathnatyam and has performed at the Vasant Utsav under the guidance of Smt. Sneha Vivek. She has also actively performed and choreographed Bollywood style dancing with a fusion of Hip-Hop for the Indian Student Association and India Association of Northern Colorado in Fort Collins, Colorado. A casual online search for a dance group landed her in the perfect place, Project Pulse. The workshops and auditions conducted by Project Pulse have provided her with an enriching experience. As part of the Project Pulse team, she has been learning various styles of Hip-Hop like locking, breaking and popping and is thrilled to be part of the upcoming show “Tathastu”.

Esha Datta

Esha Datta began her formal dance training at the age of 7, studying bharata natyam from her guru, Viji Prakash . After her arangetram in 1999, she performed regularly as a member of the Shakti Dance Company. In addition, Esha also grew up with a rich tradition of Bengali folk dance and performed in numerous community programs over the years. In college, she was a member of her school’s raas garba team and bharata natyam performance group and she also took advantage of the classes offered in the dance department to explore a wide variety of western dance styles. Esha owes much of her passion for dance to her mother, a lifelong performer and an accomplished folk and semi classical dancer who directed and choreographed dozens of productions. Project Pulse has given Esha a great way to expand her horizons and share her love for dance and she is very excited to be performing as part of the team.

Giridhar Jayavelu

Giridhar started dancing since the first day he remembers from his childhood (He used to dance not on the floor but on a table to get better attention). Since 3rd grade, he danced every year in the school Annual day functions. There was a huge gap between him and dance during 4 years of his college life. It resumed after he moved to University of Arizona, Tucson where he performed 2 dances shows. Dance has helped him to find good friends and made him popular among his friends in school and university 🙂 Giridhar has great passion for dance. As many, his inspiration is MJ and Prabhu Deva. Now recently he is greatly inspired by all the dancers and choreographers in Project Pulse team. Giridhar feels Tathatsu as his ‘first’ official performance even though he has danced on stage many times before. Because Project Pulse is unique and helps him to dance the way he wanted to do for a long time!

This was a post to encompass all the hard working, enthusiastic, devoted performers who are working hard day in day out, to put up a spectacular show “Tathastu” to be showcased in November. The next post shall talk about how Tathastu was formed and what imagination and creative ideas are driving this show which is bound to captivate the audience with its theme of 4 stories based on: Inspiration, Passion, Togetherness and The Inevitable.

Stay tuned to Project Pulse for more updates and for getting a feel of the first cut on what, why, when, where and how the stories would take you on a journey through a musical and dancing extravaganza.

Till then Adios.

!Samkit Shah!

The Rise of Bollywood Dance

It’s been a while since I put up something on the blog and I should be more active. Having said that I thought I would regale you with Tales of the Rise of Bollywood Dance. As most Indians know dance is an integral part of Indian culture, heck even our Gods loved to dance (and I don’t mean the on screen Gods). So it was no surprise that when we decided to make movies we couldn’t make it without dance and song. They tried to exclude dance and song from movies but every time the actors and actresses saw a tree something deep inside them compelled them to burst into spontaneous songs of love and the physics of the world around them warped and bend to make them move in slow motion. What was a director to do under such paranormal circumstances? There was no way an Indian movie could be made without songs and dancing.

Bollywood dancing has come a long way from those humble beginnings. We have seen it evolve from classical dances performed by on screen Apsaras (Heavenly Maidens) and courtesans to a fusion of classical and disco, from modest moves to sexy steps with hints of belly dancing, from large scale synchronized dancing on open fields or hillsides to large scale synchronized dancing in clubs. The dancing styles have also changed considerably over the years. There was a heavy influence of disco in the 80s and the 90s were dominated by a jumble of classical Indian, belly dancing, Bhangra, break dancing and thrusting moves. Let’s just say the 90s weren’t the golden age of Bollywood dance though there were a couple of names that stood out. The new century brought a siesmic shift to Indian dance when Shaimak Davar introduced his unique style to Bollywood dance. He brought with him styles never before seen in Bollywood, ballroom dancing, ballet, jazz mixed wonderfully with traditional Indian dance. The fusion was wonderful to watch and left audiences in awe. Shiamak opened the eyes of all Bollywood choreographers to the possibilities western styles provided. Moreover ballroom dancing, ballet and jazz perfectly complemented the inherent grace and fluidity of classical Indian dance.

Now that the choreographers had a taste of how western styles could enhance traditional dance steps they started experimenting. Luckily for them Bollywood was also introducing new stars, actors and actresses, who were gifted dancers. Gone were the days when actors had two left feet and choreographers had to figure out steps to make them look normal. The young actors in the hands of gifted choreographers produced some iconic dance sequences that inspired an entire generation. Young guys and girls looked at their idols on screen performing never before steps and every one wanted to emulate them. When these guys and girls left India to travel to foreign shores to study or work they carried with them that passion for dance. In their adopted countries they were exposed to yet more styles of dancing and the inspiration they had received blossomed into a desire to choreograph and perform their own version of Bollywood dance. Like minded individuals got together and formed dance troupes and started providing dance classes to second generation kids in their adopted countries in an attempt to pass on a legacy of Bollywood dancing merged with contemporary world styles.

These dance troupes and classes were mostly at local levels with exposure limited to Indian communities and people curious about Bollywood dancing. With India shining at a global level more interest was shown for the biggest film industry in the world and to Bollywood dancing. In the Bay Area Bollywood dance troupes started getting noticed outside the local level and recently one of the troupes, Ishara, was in the national spotlight when they were selected from 70 Bollywood dance troupes to represent the style in the national show, America’s Got Talent. It was a defining moment indeed. Bollywood dancing had come of age in the US. With Slumdog Millionaire sweeping the Oscars, A.R. Rehman singing “Jai Ho” the national spotlight on Bollywood dancing shone bright. Even my gym’s cardio classes were playing Bollywood songs and the cardio steps had Bollywood influences. But while the rest of the world woke up to finally acknowledge conventional Bollywood dancing, the pioneers of Bollywood dancing were already experimenting with different styles. There are a variety of dance groups in the Bay Area that specialize in mixing specific dance styles with traditional Bollywood dancing. While some more classically trained choose a fusion of ballet and jazz with classical Indian dance, others intent on experimentation give free reign to their creativity and create beautiful dance sequences by a fusion of hip hop, break dancing, latin, ballroom dancing, belly dancing and even folk dances.

Project Pulse is one such place where the choreographers love experimentation. They come from all kinds of dance backgrounds ranging from Indian classical to Hip Hop and Jazz. Over the years they have shared their knowledge and passion of the dance form with many young and not so young enthusiasts. They have inspired trained dancers to step out of their comfort zone and try something new and different. Together as a team they have performed at various local and regional events most notably among them was the Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles. Once a year the Project Pulse team of choreographers and actors get together to present a musical that blends wonderful storytelling, moving music, breathtaking dynamic dance moves that inevitably leave the audience inspired and in awe. They did it with 8000 Miles Away and this year we bring “Tathastu – Granted Wishes“. With 7 weeks to go the Project Pulse team is working hard to make this production a huge success.

Sudeep and the team of dancers have been practicing over the last few weeks and they have been very secretive about the dance steps but I have been able to persuade the team to let us film the rehearsals. So next week I’ll post a couple of videos of the dance rehearsals happening this weekend. Stay tuned.

Ciao
~ Palak Chokshi ~

Friends, Indians, Countrymen; lend me your ears.

I suppose introductions are in order. I am the newest member of the Project Pulse team and super excited about it. To give you a little back story I got to know about Project Pulse through a grad school buddy, Nihal, who had joined as a dancer. Over the past couple of months I’ve had the opportunity to meet with all the wonderful people behind this phenomenon you know as Project Pulse. Having met them and seen their performances I knew I had to be a part of it but there was a little problem. You see I have 2 left feet when it comes to dancing so joining the team of dancers was out of the question. However that did not stop me from admiring performances and knowing when I was watching something good. So as I said I had to be a part of the team.

Sudeep and the team were quite welcoming and when he asked me if I wanted to be part of the marketing team and contribute to the Project Pulse blog I jumped at the chance. Luckily for me in my first post to you guys I get to tell you about the upcoming production from Project Pulse called “Tathastu – Granted Wishes“.

Tathastu” in Sanskrit means “So be it”. Over centuries the word has been uttered as a blessing. Whenever someone asked or wished for something from their Guru or parents or someone revered, the person would bestow the blessing of Tathastu granting them their wish. In keeping with the spirit of Tathastu, Project Pulse presents four stories about unique elements of life, through dance. A common thread of the act of Tathastu binds all the stories. You will be taken on a journey of Passion, Togetherness, Inspiration and Inevitability. So mark those calendars on your Blackberries and iPhones for November 7th and 8th, 2009. I’ll post ticketing information soon.

Project Pulse dancers come from various backgrounds and bring with them different styles of dance yet in Project Pulse they form a harmonious fusion that takes the best aspects of each style and blends it flawlessly into a fluid amalgamation of movements and steps. Project Pulse offers to teach each of these styles individually as well as techniques to combine them so you can perform them with ease and confidence. Learning how to dance is not only fun but it also brings grace and poise into every movement you make in your life. Besides if my experience with these guys is anything to go by you’ll have a lot of fun. If you’re interested then here’s a link to their, I mean our, Fall Class Schedule.

For the folks in East Bay we have classes in Fremont. South Bay folks get a choice of two locations, Mountain View & San Jose. All the information regarding class duration, fees, instructors, schedule and location can be found on the respective pages. Finally, look forward to my next blog posting soon.

~Palak Chokshi~
We look forward to your participation in our classes. Come, dance, be inspired !

Top choices of Bollywood Songs of Project Pulse Choreographers

  • Maahi – Raaz 2
  • Delhi 6 – Delhi 6
  • Guzarish – Ghajini
  • Behka – Ghajini
  • Rocking and Reeling – Billu Barber
  • Chandni Chowk to China Title song
  • Love mera hit hit – Billu Barber
  • Labon Ko – Bhool Bhulaiya
  • Duniya – Dev D
  • Pardesi – Dev D
  • Tennu Le – Jai Veeru
  • Aa Dekhen Zara title song
  • Mar Jaani – Billu Barber
  • Desi Girl – Dostana
  • Genda Phool – Delhi6
  • Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
  • Shawty got loose – Lil Mama
  • Milo Na Milo – Love Story 2050
  • Rehna Tu – Delhi6
  • Haafiz Khuda (Remix) – Tasveer 8×10