Final project summary

Final assignment – Student life

For my final assignment i am going to cover student life and for that i am capturing the entire day of three students. The name of those three students are Nabila Jabbar, Nadia Jabbar and Wendy Gomez. All of them are bio-chemistry majors at UMASS Boston. I went to California pizza kitchen with my roommate, where i was discussing my final project for Digital media class.I was very confused about what i should do for my final assignment. While we were talking, i overheard a conversation between three girls. They were talking about the election for president’s post of their university. At the first instance, I avoided the conversation. Later, after some time an idea stroke my mind. I thought of covering the student life. I jumped off my chair and reached them as I realized that they were about to leave. After a formal introduction and discussion about who I am and which university i belonged to, I discussed the entire idea of covering a student life. I asked them if I could interview them, and luckily they said yes. I quickly exchanged the numbers with them and thanked them for allowing me to interview them. I will stay with them for an entire day, follow them in their classes, with their friends, with their family, during their lunch time, in their labs, in library and so on.

I hope this works for my photo story and video. All of them will be sharing some of their experiences and some interesting things about their college life with me during the interview. We will discuss about the problems they face as a student, how they overcome their problems, and how the university is aiding them to succeed on global platform.

These are my ideas for my final assignments. For my photo story and videos keep checking my upcoming blogs.


Comparing dance forms : Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi

Bharatnatyam is a traditional dance form of India, which originated from the state of Tamil Nadu.On the other hand, Kuchipudi is a traditional Indian dance form that originated from the state of Andhra Pradesh. Bharatnatyam is a unique dance form, which was performed in temples in the 19th and 20th century but now it is performed in front of large audience and with fancy costumes. Bharatnatyam was initially performed within a little village called Divi Taluq in the Krishna district in the coastal areas of Bay of Bengal. The Brahmin inhabitants of the village traditionally performed Bharatnatyam. Whereas, Kuchipudi dance form achieved perfection during the rule of Abdul Hassan Tanesha of the Golconda Dynasty.  The king was so fascinated with the dance form that he rewarded 600 acres of territory from Tanesha to the Brahmins who performed Kuchipudi.

Bharatnatyam dance form was inspired from the sculptures of Chidambaram Temple. Whereas, Kuchipudi dance form originated from the creations of the Brahmin dancers. Bharatnatyam is known for its elegance, grace, softness and so on. Kuchipudi is performed flat-footed and with rounded poses. Other than the posture difference and the ways of performing the dance style, dressing in both the dance forms is also different. Bharatnatyam costumes consist of three fans of different heights, which look like the scattering portions of a pleated sari. Kuchipudi costumes on the other hand, have a single fan but it is way to heavy than Bharatnatyam costumes.

Bharatnatyam is a way of expressing inner fire or anger within the human soul and Kuchipudi is performed to show man’s desire to unite god.

Kuchipudi dance video.

Bharatnatyam dance video.

For more dance information keep following my blog.


Comparing dance forms: Bharatnatyam and Kathak

Both Bharatnatyam and Kathak are classical dance forms of India. Although many similarities are witnessed in both the dance forms, there exist many differences also.

Bharatnatyam is a south Indian dance form, originated in the state Tamil Nadu. Bharatnatyam is often conveyed by various classical Tamil songs and music. Whereas, Kathak is an north Indian dance form.

Temple dancers usually performed Bharatnatyam, followed by Carnatic music. Later, these dancers performed for South Indian kings. Kathak was usually performed for Muslim kings.

Bharatnatyam is performed based on the stories of Lord Shiva, and Kathak is evolved from the stories of Radha and Krishna. In Kathak dance form, when a dancer performs Lord Krishna’s part he closes his eyes while dancing in order to portray a dream sequence, which is very interesting to watch.

Bharatnayam dance form is performed wearing unique jewelry and costumes. The dancers wear such dresses, which do not restrict their movements. The costumes of Bharatnatyam are majestic. Costumes worn in Bharatnatyam also include heavy face and hair makeup, which enhances the entire costume. In comparison, Kathak performers have typically worn sari (for female) and dhoti (for male). But nowadays, kathak performers often prefer to wear long skirts and tops, which according to the dancers, captivates the audience.

In conclusion, the costumes worn by Bharatnatyam dancers are very grand while those worn by Kathak dancers are very simple. Musical instruments used in Kathak dance are tabla, sarangi, sarod and so on. Whereas, instruments used in Bharatnatyam dance forms are mridangam, nagaswaram, and veena. The tunes and lyrics of both the dance forms vary to a hefty extent.

Photo of Kathak dance costume.


photo of Bharatnatyam dance costume.

dancer 1

The above link describes the Kathak Mahotsav held in Canada Aug. 18 to Aug. 20, 2011. Organized by Rina Singha dance organization. Such events helps in making an Indian classical dance form internationally known.

Photo credits “Madhu VFX”

For more dance information keep following my blog.


Comparing dance forms: Kathak and Flamenco

Although Kathak and Flamenco both originate from different countries—India and Spain, respectively—some commonly shared features can be observed in both dance forms. Some techniques and body movements, such as hands, arms, feet, whole body movements, turns and positions are similar. Some similarities at the structural level are also seen, such as footwork and full body movements.

Kathak dance form is a way of presenting positive spiritual feelings and is performed by Hindu devotees of North India. Whereas, Flamenco dance form is meant to portray human suffering or depression and is performed in southern Spain; it is most often performed by Andalusian Gypsy people. Both dance forms have the same motive—to promote their respective traditions. Kathak, in the older as well as in the contemporary era, is performed in Hindu temples as a form of worship. During old times Kathak was also performed in village courtyards. Similarly, Flamenco traditionally appeared in the courtyards of Gypsy families. Both Kathak and Flamenco dance forms are amalgamations of several cultures.

Later, Kathak moved to extravagant courts of the Mughal Nawab and Flamenco moved to the smoky rooms owned by non-Gypsies. By the 20th century, both Kathak and Flamenco dancers started giving theatre performances in front of large audiences. Though Flamenco is more popular than Kathak, both dance forms are internationally recognized.

The two common religious influences both dance forms share are Indian and Muslim. Both dance forms have similarly complex footwork. Costumes of both the dance forms are fascinating to the audience. The flare in both the dance forms is also similar.


Video assignment

My recent class assignment was to interview three people. I decided to interview three professors of UMASS Boston. The topic of interview, which i chose was “international students and their problems with English language.” I went to UMASS campus. After meeting twelve professors i ended up taking interview of three professors named John Hess (Senior English lecturer at UMASS), Eve Sorum (Professor of English literature at UMASS)  and Professor Joseph Torra (Writer, poet and teacher at UMASS). All of them had different opinions regarding the topic.

“I love having international students,” says professor Hess. He thinks that international students from China, Scotland, Europe and so on face tremendous cultural shock in United States. Whereas, problems related to international students writing or grammar are resolved by offering them a series of classes such as ESL (English as second language classes).

Further, professor Sorum says that it is a responsibility of university and its professors to help overcome problems of international students. She also thinks that they are deeply good in necessary things and intelligent in their own ways. “Intensive reading and writing classes should be given to international students for whom English is not their first language,” says professor Sorum.

In addition, professor Torra believes that it is necessary to open doors for international students at UMASS Boston or in any other university because it helps students and faculty to be a part of international culture. He also thinks that international students should not be judged on their lack of writing abilities or their pronunciations but the way of presenting their ideas.

For more information please watch the above video.

Costume’s play a vital role in enhancing dance performances.

Dance costumes are designed typically for enriching the performance. Costumes which are designed for a specific work helps representing the artistic work of the choreographer. When dance is presented with good body postures, lines, choreography, proper song selection and good costumes, attracts the audience. Costumes are designed according to the likely requirements of dance forms. Dance costumes are designed in a way that it helps dancers completing their movements without damaging the steps.

Materials used in designing dance clothes

It is very important to use light weight and stretchable fabric, because another type of material used may result in restriction of movements. Fabric such as, jersey, silk, chiffon, georgette and Lyrica are commonly used for designing the costumes because they don’t restrict the movements. Material such as silk is lightweight and thus it tends to flow easily around the body.

Colors used in designing dance clothes

Colors are usually in contrast with lighting, props and accessories used in dance. Costume colors are chosen in such a way that they enhance body lines and forms, and they complement a dancer. Darker colors are usually used in designing costumes as they make the dancer look slimmer, and brighter colors are avoided as they make the dancer look larger. Colors should always be chosen in a way that pleases audience’s eye.

Footwear’s used in performance

Every dance style requires a specific dance shoe and some are performed without wearing footwear. Footwear are used for balancing the costumes. Some footwear tends to blend with the costumes thus they are not noticed. The other reason of choosing the footwear with precession is to avoid injuries. Classical dancers performing Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Odissi and so on avoid wearing footwear’s because of the traditional reasons. Whereas, contemporary dancers choose footwear’s according to their dance forms.

“happy dancing”

Interview of a dance expert

Last Monday, I had an email interview with a dance expert, Sanjukta Sinha. She was born in Lucknow, India. She started dancing at the age of 8. She has majored in English, History and Sociology. As she was born and brought up in Lucknow, the land of Kathak dancers, she started performing Kathak. “I fell in love with the dance form the moment I started performing it,” says Sinha. She says she only performs Kathak but adds, “It is good to master in one dance form, but I respect all the dance forms.” She learned Kathak from Kumudini Lakhia Ji (her Guru), which according to her, is her biggest achievement.


Sinha has done various shows internationally. She recently performed in Rome, Paris and Italy. A few months back she did a stage show in New York, which she says was very successful. She loves showcasing her talent and dedication for Kathak dance form. For her, dance is the most beautiful art form and it is the best way of expressing oneself. She also has dance classes in Ahmedabad named “Kadamb”, India, where she teaches Kathak. She also added, ”I want to dance till my last breath.”


Further, she wants to promote Kathak not only nationally, but internationally. “I want every generation to know what Kathak dance form is all about,” Sinha says.


The pictures used are copy righted by Madhu Vfx

Pictures seen in my blog are used after taking permission of the photographer.

It felt great interviewing Sinha. Though it was an email interview, it really inspired me.

Happy Dancing !