Famous Bollywood Choreographer Teaches Episcopal Dancers

World-renowned choreographer Rujuta Vaidya visited the Episcopal Dance Department last week to teach a production piece in classical Bollywood style to the Dance Ensemble. The Dance Ensemble will incorporate the Bollywood-inspired choreography into the spring dance concert, scheduled for March 13, 2009. In addition to choreographing for the dance ensemble, Rujuta gave a crash course in Bollywood-style dancing to the Upper School dance classes. Rujuta’s unique approach is a cutting-edge style of Indian movement fused with Western dance. While the style is still gaining popularity in the United States, it is widely admired elsewhere in the world.
The partnership between Episcopal Dance Teacher Missy Ponder-Reston and Rujuta is not new, however. Together the two have taught master dance classes at the LaVilla School of the Arts, at Florida Community College of Jacksonville, and at a local dance studio, Dansations.
Ponder-Reston commented about Rujuta’s visit, “I was eager to introduce this style of dancing to Episcopal. Our dancers are excited because they are experiencing this wonderful culture and seeing first-hand how it crosses into other cultures. They think this style of dancing is really fun and energetic-and they love the costumes, which are very elaborate and beautiful. They love the fact that they are experiencing Indian culture from such an inspirational woman who is doing amazing things right now. We all feel blessed to have her in town”