The Colombian Joy in India
India, especially, Delhi has seen lot of western trends in its culture. When it comes to Dance, India is rich in variety it offers. However, in last 10 years or more, Delhi has witnessed rise of international dance forms like Jazz, Contemporary, hip-hop, and latin dance forms. This trend was also seen in popular reality talent shows across like India’s Got Talent, Dance India Dance and others.
Back in 2008, India started seeing a tropical trend of Salsa Socials across. Delhi and Bengaluru (in those days, Bengalore) were becoming Salsa capitals in India. Among other couple dance forms like Tango, Falmenco, Ball Room, this latin American dance form, Salsa saw a rise. Delhi and Benglauru used to host festivals and salsa socials. There was a time, when Delhi had seen one salsa evening almost every day. In fact, from 2008 to 2012 Clubs/ Restaurants like AI, Urban Pind and FbAr used to have a dedicated days only for Salsa Socials and not only salsa students going to salsa dance academies but others shall join in. The format across was seen similar across, where the Salsa Instructors shall give a workshop followed the salsa dancing. In-fact, Kaytee Namgyal and Lourd Vijay were leading the floor. Some prominent salsa academies were Salsa India, Delhi Salsa Club, LVDS, Mundo Latino, Latin Twist and so on so forth.
From 2010 to 2014, Embassy of Colombia added fuel to the fire of Salsa trend. Under leadership of H.E. Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra, India and Colombia did lot of activities in cultural diplomacy. He introduced lot of Salsa / Latin bands in India. Among the list were bands like LA-33, Mama Julia Y Los Sonidos Ambulantes, Chocquib Town, Banda La Republica, Hety y Zambo and many more. These bands were invited in collaboration with ICCR and also seen participating in festivals like Delhi International Arts Festival, Delhi International Jazz Festival and did performances in Mumbai, Chandigarh and other major cities of India. The performances from these musical groups/ bands used to draw huge crowds and Indians would go crazy dancing on their tunes. There were talks of collaboration with Indian music industry as well. The Salsa across the India picked up its pace during those 4 years.
As a result, the corporates like Google, GENPACT, etc started organising workshops. The salsa classes number went up. Dance companies also saw an increase. Indian of all age groups were seen going to salsa classes from kids to elderly couples. This gave a newer visibility to Colombia in India. More collaborations around. Even Bollywood started using Spanish dance numbers and salsa dance forms in Hindi songs.
From a musicality perspective, it became easy to understand as both had baseline of 8 beats. Also, like dhol beats in various dance forms, Colombian Salsa music also has dominant sounds of Clave, Conga, Bongo Drums, Cowbells etc. While teaching, students find an adaptability to those 8 beat format. From fitness perspective also it help burn more calories. In addition, there were few who started selling salsa shoes and stilettos.
Colombian beat has added a lot more to everyone across! Hope this passion continues and India can see more of such extravaganza from Colombia.
Jatin Mendiratta is a brand consultant with 16+ years of experience in managing mandates across the Public sector and Private sectors. He has been working in the Social Sector for projects with the World Bank, Gates Foundation, and other International agencies.