The theme for the Oaks charity fundraiser for the National Institute of Child Health’s Neonatal Ward revolved round the popular track Mama Mia by Abba.
The opening act was by the dance group Josh led by Joshinder Gaur Chaggar. Together they performed different dances on Abba tracks, with steps that at times bordered on acrobatics, popular dances of the ’70s and ballet moves. The youngest entrant, Zashaney Malik performed with skill and aplomb alongside the experienced dancers.
“My focus was the Mama Mia song which is fun and vibrant, so I wanted to make the dances youthful and enjoyable, reflecting the times. The other point we added was to make the dances theatrical, incorporating parts of the story of the film Mama Mia, thus focusing on some of the songs, presenting the theme of the film,” explained Joshinder.
Music and dance, art and style; what more can one ask of a fundraiser?
Practicing and exploring the modern contemporary style of dance, Joshinder says she is inclined towards experimental work. What she and her group presented had her style woven into the popular style which people are used to today. “When I do my own work, it is slightly different. I grew up in Australia and studied dance there, and when I came here I fell in love with theatre and evolved my style by merging theatre acting, dance and writing, as there can be a script even in dance!”
Next, Zoe Viccaji, looking resplendent in a red evening gown, coaxed the audience to get on the dance floor while she performed Ishq Kinara (the track has its origin in a Turkish song), followed by a cover of Nazia Hasan’s Baat ban jaye. She also sang requests and old popular songs of Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, Mama Mia, Mehdi Hasan’s Jab koi pyar se bulaye ga, and Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock. Zoe was accompanied on vocals by sister Rachel Viccaji and together they proved to be a commendable vocal force.
The beautifully choreographed lively dances and songs set the pace for the evening, which concluded with an auction of paintings by famous artists and a fashion presentation by designers Shamaeel Ansari and Sania Maskatiya.
Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, April 17th, 2016