2018 is all about stepping out of my comfort zone, and for someone with two left-feet, signing up for a Flashmob was definitely a good place to start.
This event was a sell out at last year’s Fringe, I enlisted an equally game friend, and we joined 20 others at Fusion Beats Dance Centre on Gouger Street to learn the moves that would become part of a Bollywood-style Flashmob in Rundle Mall.
Francesca McMillian is the creative director of the studio and is one of Australia’s leading choreographers in Bollywood dance. She also teaches hip-hop, Jazz, Latin and posts weekly tutorials on her YouTube channel. Her love of dance and performance shines through with her vibrant style of teaching.
The class started with a fun warm-up to ‘Jai Ho’, the well known song from the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, then straight into learning the moves to three upbeat songs from the Northern region of India. Not only were we taught the dance moves required for the Flashmob but Francesca told us of the background behind the songs, the style and meaning of the dances and how they are used in the those famous movies.
Francesca’s infectious enthusiasm and endless encouragement was a much needed boost for the less co-ordinated, non-dancing types in the room. Nearly two hours and a great workout later, we were armed with the routine for our flashmob experience.
A day later a video tutorial appeared in my inbox, so the moves could be refined before the big day – a welcome relief.
A nervous group, dressed with a touch of red, congregated in Rundle Mall on a warm Sunday afternoon. With last minute instructions from Francesca, the group dispersed among the unwitting shoppers. The music started and we were on. Francesca and her team provided an element of professionalism and structure to the performance, which took some pressure off the rest of the group. There were lots of giggles and improvisation but we got there. The upbeat tunes and spontaneous dancing, brought smiles and unexpected joy to the surprised crowd.
Francesca coordinates regular performances during the year, so if you feel like doing something completely different and getting out of your comfort-zone then I encourage you to give this a go.
Fringe Review by Mandy Keulen