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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dance India Dance on Zee TV

The regular dance contests on TV are the 2 main ones of Jhalak Dikhla Ja and Nach Baliye, and both of them center around getting unusual celebrities to do the dancing (so you have TV stars, magicians, singers, cooks, etc). What about the Indian Idol equivalent, where normal people get the chance to show their singing abilities ? Well, Dance India Dance is a chance where talented normal dancers get a chance to make their talents known on national television.
So, the program had auditions in many cities where people had the chance to show their dance routine to the judges, be selected, and then a further process of selection to narrow down the list to 18. These 18 were then allotted to the 3 dance gurus, and then show their performances (including individual and double performances) and be judged for further movement. The 3 gurus also had to start nominating 2 of their contestants for judging, and then were selected by the Grand Master for approval, or for removal.
The 3 judges are (all famous dance choreographers):
# Terrence Lewis ... Judge
# Geeta Kapur ... Judge
# Remo D'Souza ... Judge
The Grand Master is Mithun Chakraborty
The hosts for the show are:
* Jay Bhanushali
* Saumya Tandon

Current people present in the contest are:
Jai Kumar Nair
Alisha Singh
Mayuresh Wadkar
Vrushali Chavan
Siddesh Pai
Bhavana Purohit
Khushboo Purohit
Rakhee Sharma

In addition, 12 of the previous contestants who were eliminated were selected for a wild card entry, a chance to again try for being among 3 contestants who will be selected again for the contest.

Some of these performances have been very impressive, and probably the most impressive performance has been by a disabled man from Gujrat called Kamlesh. Here is a video of Kamlesh's performance again (second part of this video and starting point of the next video):

Videos of the program from Youtube (link)

Balika Vadhu - Sugna's torture continues

I was having a discussion with some friends about why serials such as Balika Vadhu, depicting such social problems and evils are continued to be shown, and while most people don't care about the social message and are interested in the drama of the story, there were some who cared that such injustices and tortures must still be happening to women in sections of our country, and there is nothing wrong in depicting such problems.
After the horrific death of Pratap in an encounter with dacoits, everybody shocked and cannot comprehend as to what is happening. What this also means is that Sugna is now a young widow, in a society that considers a woman to be incomplete without a man; and hence she has to bear the problems that go with it. There are many traumatic rituals that go along with being a widow, and Sugna has to go through all of them, including shunning all sorts of color, living away from the others in a separate dark room, eating frugal means and avoiding all pleasure.
The serial shows the problems that this causes, as for example, she is in pain and hence wants to undergo such a plain life, but still, she is also a human being and has desires, as shown in the episode where she is in the kitchen for getting some raw rice and sees a sweet on the stove (and sweets and other such dishes are totally banned for her). In addition, her inlaws are blaming her for being the dark cloud that caused the death of Pratap, their young son, and are not willing to let her live with them. If they blame her for the death, then it would be madness to send Sugna to live with them since then she would have to undergo torture and taunts all the time. At this time, Kalyani takes a decision that Sugna will not go, that she will not let her grand-daughter go to such a hell.

Enjoy Nautanki TV