Summer Solstice Progress Report
“This particular group of drummers and dancers are incredibly special. The music and choreography is being absorbed and integrated faster than in past years. Everyone is extremely focused and up for the challenge.”- Lisa Beck leader of Panzumo’s dancer troupe.
Much progress has been made since the last time I documented our practice. This time my fellow classmate and Odyssey columnist, Elisabeth Danielsen, came along with me to document my practice. We are in the last couple weeks of rehearsal so our practices have been upped from one practice a week to three practices a week. We have learned three dances to the songs: Chhamiya, Balma, and Kassa. Chhamiya and Balma are Bollywood songs and Kassa is a West African piece. I always struggle the most with West African choreography, because it is such an energetic dance. Now that we have learned all the steps in these dances, many of us are concentrating on perfecting them.
I spoke with a couple of my fellow dancers to see how they were feeling about their progress. Celinda Del Carmen expressed to me that she never anticipated how difficult the choreography would be. “I have experienced different types of dancing, but never Bollywood. It is harder than I expected because there is a lot of hand movement that I am not use to. Additionally all three of the dances are lot faster than I imagined.” This is Celinda’s first year in the parade, and I remember feeling the exact same way she did last year. I can assure Celinda and every other dancer that after eight weeks of practicing the routines, they will be able to perform the dance in their sleep.
Dancing with the Panzumo group has been an amazing experience. We have a fairly large group, but everyone seems like family. I am not only speaking for myself when I say that, everyone else in the group seems to have similar love and admiration for our group. “(Panzumo) Is an amazing magical dance group filled with talent and energy! I’m happy to dance with all of these beautiful souls!” -Liz Jean, Solstice dancer. With school coming to an end and summer about to start, the Summer Solstice festival is the perfect way to celebrate!
*I want to give a special thanks to Elisabeth Danielsen, who filmed and edited this video