An Indian wedding without dance is unimaginable. Every ceremony, be it pre-wedding or post-wedding involves dancing. From sangeet (which is an entire ceremony dedicated to dancing and singing) to mehendi, to the wedding, to reception, an Indian wedding is all about dancing! Traditionally, 'dance' has been an expression of celebration in Indian weddings. For generations, wedding dancing has brought families closer and served as a bond of an unbiased union. Whether it has been through group performances, or competition between families, Indians have always taken their dance 'very seriously'.
Today, the concept of performing at a wedding has been taken to a different level altogether. From self/ impromptu choreographing of dance numbers, people have gone on to hiring professional wedding choreographers and taking classes. The cool part, however, is that besides a trained performance at the functions, these wedding choreography classes also provide a platform to learn a new form of art.
People hire professionals because they want to learn a particular style of dance, it could be salsa, hip hop, bollywood (very famous one for weddings) or even belly dancing (another upcoming form). Earlier, families used to dance randomly on functions but now there is a want for a well choreographed dance performance, a professional teacher, who has the correct knowledge. People hire professionals well in advance so that they can perfect their moves. Its the best for non-dancers, people who do not have knowledge about any dance form, they can learn and flaunt it. Learning something never goes waste. When a baby is born, he learns to walk, to talk and then to dance or may be before starting to talk, he learns to dance.
Hiring choreographers is a trend these days. People want to learn the basic techniques from professionals rather than just watching television or dance videos and copying.
There are no fixed rates for wedding choreography. It totally depends upon- the number of songs, the number of students, the number of classes, the clients budget, the style of dance, the venue for the classes (their own place or the choreographer's studio) and the experience of the choreographer.
Number of classes
This depends on how much time they have before the wedding functions. If they contact the choreographer a month or two before the performance day, once or twice a week is enough. If they do not have time and have approached the choreographer last moment, it becomes difficult, especially if they are non-dancers. Like 10/15days before, they would need regular classes.
Venue for the classes
Normally people are more comfortable taking classes at their own place. But choreographers also take classes at their studio.
The age-group that usually takes part in wedding choreography classes is mostly between 15 to 55 years. However there are kids between the age of 6-12 years who enjoy dancing to the latest numbers and at times take part in these classes as well. The elders mostly prefer dancing to the tune of couple songs like "Ae meri zohra jabi" :)
Popular songs for this wedding season
Indian weddings mostly have hindi/punjabi
songs. People not only use the latest songs but also prefer old bollywood songs. Sometimes it also depends on themes. Some popular songs for this season are - ainvayi ainvayi
(band baja baraat), chikni chameli
(agneepath), saddi gali
(tanu weds manu), Chammak challo
(r.a one), subha hone na de
(desi boys), oh la la
Most of the times people who hire choreographers decide and tell what kind of choreography they want. Sometimes, if they know the choreographer from before and have seen the work, they let him/her to decide. Also if the choreographer is from a particular dance school and people have seen some of the choreography of the school, they also ask them to teach the exact same performance. Some people decide themes and ask the choreographer to suggest according to the theme. Themes can be like 70's or 80's etc, the choreographer can use music of that time. People also dedicate choreography to the person who is getting married - like choreography with siblings, childhood friends, cousins, college friends, work mates and then end it with a couple dance(with the person he/she is getting married to). The person who is getting married also takes part in it.
Photo Courtesy : Peddu Eeshwar