Posts tagged with "bollywood"

BFUNK

BFUNK DANCE

Chaya Kumar and Shivani Bhagwan, the creators and founders of BhangraFunk and BollyFunk, have quickly become a worldwide phenomenon, known as BFUNK. Their viral YouTube dance videos featuring students from their sold-out classes in Los Angeles have caught the attention of many. They have collaborated with the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan and received co-signs from other Bollywood superstars like Diljit Dosanjh, Arjun Kapoor and esteemed choreographers Geeta Kapoor and Tricia Miranda. With over 200 million cumulative views on their dance videos, Shivani and Chaya have built an enormous fan base around the world. (#FUNKFAM) This has allowed them to travel and teach workshops internationally and bring a new style of dance to many renowned dance studios. They are pushing boundaries with their messaging and proving that dance can be a career.

360 had the opportunity in joining #BFUNK for a special dance class focused on crafting background dancers and the proper techniques during an on-stage live performance. The crossover between Bollywood and Hip-Hop formed powerful combos and an overall fluid routine that both choreographers taught. The whole experience felt like joining a family dance camp. Kumar and Bhagwan made it comfortable to ask questions, repeat steps and took the time to identify common mistakes. Hearing how proud they were of the class and watching them interact with familiar and unfamiliar faces showcased their passion for others to succeed. Classes are perfect for dancers of any experience and background, with this class emphasized on dancers breaking into the industry. Surprise guest and recording artist, Raja Kumari (whose song the routine covered), was invited as an example of how one should perform alongside a known performer.

“As South Asians, there exists no system of representation for an industry dancer to be booked on a professional job within their niche. In this class, we provided our students the opportunity to back up an artist, as it would be on stage.  It is our hope that this venture will create a clatter and foreshadow new beginnings for South Asian dancers.”

Kumar and Bhagwan will continue to foster a positive environment in their classes and relentlessly strive to change the conversation, eliminating labels and discussing dance as simply, dance. At age 26, their careers only continue to skyrocket into new heights.

RAJA KUMARI

Indian-American rapper, singer, songwriter and dancer Raja Kumari is a force of nature. She’s a fearless, charismatic personality and natural-born storyteller whose mission is to create art that blends her Indian roots with her American upbringing. Her music is a sonic bridge between East and West that fuses the rhythms she absorbed as a trained classical Indian dancer with her love for hip-hop. Through singles “Mute,” “City Slums” (featuring Mumbai rapper Divine), “Believe In You,” and her latest “I Did It,”as well as her debut EP, The Come Up (the cover features an image of Kumari with her head draped in both a gold tikka and an American flag), Kumari announces that this is the new face of America. “I want my fans to feel one hundred percent seen and to have a safe space to be themselves,” she says. “Because those were the onlydesires I had as a child.”

Born Svetha Rao in Claremont, Calif., to Indian parents who emigrated to the U.S. in the ’70s, Kumari was 13 when she had a vision that she calls “a memory of the future.” “I was in my room and I had this image of me standing on a stage,” she recalls. “I couldn’t see myself. I was looking out from my own eyes at a sea of 100,000 people and I could feel their energy. Suddenly I snapped out of it and said out loud, ‘How do I get there?’ My entire career has been about trying to answer that question, ‘How do I become that woman and how do I touch people?’ That became my life’s purpose.” Her answer is music and dance. “I feel like I’m a seed from the motherland that was sent across the world,” she says. “Culture is part of my identity because we, as Indian-Americans who grew up away from India, have to be the vessels of culture. We have to hold on because it’ll be lost within one generation. That’s why it so heavily influences my music and look. It’s not a gimmick to me. It’s an expression of a lifetime of trying to preserve it.”

Kumari set upon her artistic journey at age five when she began learning classical Indian dance, spending seven hours a day practicing with a dance guru who lived with her family for 10 years. Kumari studied several styles and, at age seven, made her debut in front of an audience that included Indian music legend Ravi Shankar, who declared her a child prodigy. By the time she was ten, Kumari was touring the U.S. and India, performing for massive audiences and raising substantial sums of money for charity, including enough to build a meditation hall and a new wing for a hospital in India.

Kumari listened to nothing but classical Indian music until she was nine, but then her older brother gave her a copy of The Fugees’ The Score, and her love for hip-hop was born. “That was the genesis of me as an artist,” she says. “Indian music is based on the mathematics of rhythm, so very quickly, as a little Indian kid who was not using her brain to be scientist, I used it to decipher the mathematics of hip-hop and realized that the rhythms of rap felt similar to the jathis and taals of Carnatic music. Hip-hop felt like a bridge.” Kumari also noted the large platforms that her favorite pop acts, like Britney Spears and *NSYNC, had to reach fans. “I was like, ‘How do I get my dance on that type of stage?’ And I realized that the only people who have stages like that are pop stars.”

At 14, Kumari recorded her first song professionally, started a hip-hop duo with a friend, and adopted her stage name, which means “princess” in Sanskrit. “That’s when I personified this strong, female goddess character called ‘Raja Kumari,’ the daughter of the king, and the king was God. So in my mind, I was the daughter of God.” She began writing her own songs as an act of rebellion. “I felt that everybody was expecting me to continue dancing and,like every other good Indian girl, marry a doctor,” saysKumari, whose father is a radiation oncologist. “I felt this path being set up for me and music became my way of doing something that was just for me.”

Kumari developed her writing skills and spent every day instudio sessions and attending songwriting camps all over the world. As she tried to crack the music industry code, she realized that the artists she looked up to started out as songwriters. “They had to prove they could sell millions of records, so that became my focus, too,” she says. “I put my artist project aside for two years to concentrate on learning.” As she found herself in in rooms with such heavyweights as Timbaland, Polow Da Don, Tricky Stewart, J.R. Rotem, and, at one point, Dr. Dre, Kumari soaked up everything she could about writing and vocal production. Her first placement came in 2012 when a song she co-wrote called “Change Your Life” wound up on Iggy Azalea’s Grammy-nominated album The New Classic. “Suddenly, I had credibility,” Kumari says.

Kumari signed with Pulse Recordings and went on to co-write hit songs for Fall Out Boy (the 4x-Platinum “Centuries,” which earned her a 2015 BMI Pop Award), Fifth Harmony, Twin Shadow, Knife Party, Dirty South, Lindsey Stirling, and Gwen Stefani (Kumari co-wrote six tracks on Stefani’s most recent album, This Is What The Truth Feels Like). Ironically, it was seeing Iggy Azalea wearing a gold kiritam in her “Bounce” video that fueledKumari’s determination to introduce authentic Indian culture to the masses. “To see my culture being put on as a costume — it woke me up,” she says. “I realized that if I didn’t do it, no one will.” Along the way, Kumari earned a degree in comparative religious studies at the University of California, Riverside.

In 2015, Kumari signed to Epic Records and released her debut single “Mute,” which addressed the challenges she faced when people in the industry advised her to tone down her ethnicity. (In the song’s opening line, she declares: “I had to put ‘em on mute / Thought that the curry was soup / I had to feed these fools / Had to go home and regroup.”)Kumari felt she had hit a roadblock in America and decided to decamp to Mumbai, where she was based for two years.

“I got there and everybody understood me,” says Kumari, who is also signed to Sony Music India. “I didn’t have to explain my bindi. I didn’t have to explain anything, really. People were so open to everything I was doing as an artist.I just wanted to prove that my music is worthy and that there are people who want to hear it. The validation from my people made me no longer crave validation from anyone else. When I walk into a room and someone tells me something can’t happen, I don’t even listen, because I already know what’s possible.”

Kumari wrote her latest single, “I Did It,” about that feeling. “It’s about me taking a leap,” she says. “It’s about how I didn’t do it the way everyone wanted, but I did it with integrity and that can’t be taken away from me. No one can tell me it won’t work, because it is working. I feel that the music is unstoppable now and that’s such a crazy feeling, because even today, my dad will say, ‘You know, you can just go back to medical school.’ They are still waiting for me to take the emergency exit. But I don’t feel like I’m allowed to quit because there are too many people, little girls like me, who didn’t see themselves represented in culture, who need it. I didn’t have anybody like me. I feel like I’m becoming the person I needed when I was growing up.

PACIFIC DELIGHT TOURS × JEWS × INDIA

JEWS ARRIVED IN INDIA PRIOR TO THE CHANUKAH STORY: EXPLORE INDIA THROUGH JEWISH EYESTM WITH PACIFIC DELIGHT TOURS

Pacific Delight Tours continues its kosher “Jewish eyes” tours in conjunction with the Foundation for Remote Jewish Communities featuring its annual INDIA: My Second Home program, Jan. 16-29, 2019.

Few people know that the pepper found on your kitchen table comes from a pepper exchange in Southern India located in a place called Jewtown. While this label might be deemed offensive in modern Western society, to a 2,000-year-old Jewish community in India, the name Jewtown is a source of pride that honors the long history of Jews in India and the great contributions Jews have made to Indian society.

Tour participants will learn how this isolated Diaspora community has evolved in its own unique way. For example, Jews in India celebrate every Jewish holiday except Chanukah because their society pre-dates Chanukah. This and many more fascinating, little known stories of the Jewish experience in India will be discussed by Prof. Nathan Katz, one of the world’s foremost scholars on Jews in India.

Participants will have opportunities to meet and interact with India’s diverse Jewish communities in Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and

New Delhi and join Shabbat at the Judah Hyam synagogue in New Delhi as well as at Kenesseth Eliyahoo, also known as the Fort Synagogue, in Mumbai (pictured right), which dates back to 1884. Other historic synagogues include Kolkata’s 19th century Italian Renaissance-style Magen David synagogue and the historic Paradesi synagogue in Jewtown, constructed during the Mughal era in the 16th century.

The program visits the “must-see” sights of India such as the iconic Taj Mahal and Elephanta Caves, cruises Kerala’s scenic backwaters, peddles through Old Delhi and other UNESCO World Heritage sites via rickshaw, and features a private recital featuring traditional Indian music and dance.

India is known for its antiquity and spirituality, its cultural export dubbed “Bollywood”, and its contrast of bustling cities and pristine nature-a fascinating kaleidoscope that is the world’s largest democracy. “What is typically not known is India’s long history as one of the most hospitable homes in the Diaspora, without a trace of anti-Semitism,” said Prof. Katz.

“A Jew, Sarmad Kashani, was the most celebrated patron saint of 17th century Indian poetry. So too, Jews have been among India’s great mystics, taken center stage in Bollywood, served as mayor of major cities, and produced the country’s greatest military hero, General J. F. R. ‘Jack’ Jacob,” explained Prof. Katz.

India My 2nd Home features deluxe hotels such as Mumbai’s five-star Taj Mahal Tower overlooking the Arabian Sea. Other accommodations include the Taj Vivanta Malabar in Kochi, the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata, Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi and ITC Mughal Hotel in Agra.

The fully-escorted tour cost is $7,195 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes deluxe accommodations, all intra-India flights and transportation, the services of an English-speaking escort and local guides including acclaimed scholar Prof. Nathan Katz, most meals (kosher or strictly vegetarian) including memorable lunches and dinners with the Jewish communities in India, fascinating sightseeing and excursions, and exclusive cultural events not open to the general public. All gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff, as well as hotel taxes and service charges, are included in the package. International airfare, as well as passport and visa fees, are not included.

The tour cost includes a tax-deductible donation of $900 per person to FRJC, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational charity that is devoted to preserving and promoting the endangered Jewish communities on the periphery of the Diaspora, including India. Since its inception in 2003, FRJC has distributed more than $1.1 million for Jewish libraries, scholarships, and even sustainable farming projects. Learn more at www.frjc.org

Consult your travel agent or contact Pacific Delight at (800) 221-7179 or visit www.PacificDelightTours.com for more information.

About Prof. Nathan Katz

Prof. Nathan Katz is distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Florida International University where he was director of Jewish Studies and founding director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality. He has written 15 books, including The Last Jews of Cochin and Who Are the Jews of India? A Fulbright scholar who has spent more than eight years in South Asia, Prof. Katz was delegate to the ground-breaking 1990 Tibetan-Jewish dialogue, hosted by the Dalai Lama, which was chronicled in the bestselling book, The Jew in the Lotus.

About Pacific Delight Tours

For 47 years, Pacific Delight Tours has been one of America’s leading tour operators to China and Asia. Among numerous industry awards, Pacific Delight is the proud recipient of theTravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008-2016, the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the Travvy Award from travAlliancemedia for Best Vacation Packager, Asia for 2016 and 2017. The company is also a proud member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and its industry-leading $1 Million Bond.

Pacific Delight is dedicated to providing unparalleled vacation experiences for discerning travelers. Its long-standing reputation within the travel agent community is a testament to its unrivaled quality assurance, extensive expertise and customer service.

Signing of Bollywood Superstar, Rana Daggubati

London Digital Movie & TV Studios announce signing of Bollywood Superstar, Rana Daggubati

London, United Kingdom – 27 July, 2017 — The London Digital Movie & TV Studios is delighted to announce the signing of international Indian Bollywood Superstar Rana Daggubati as their Asian Brand Ambassador.

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He made a sensational debut in Telugu and Hindi languages simultaneously as the lead actor in the political thriller ‘Leader’ and the crime thriller ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ in 2010.Rana Daggubati is a Bollywood superstar and a National award winning filmmaker, Digital Post entrepreneur, and a successful actor in Indian Cinema.

His recent films the magnum opus Baahubali – The Beginning and the Conclusion has become one of India’s most successful films, globally.

Given his tremendous foresight, he is accredited with having transformed the evolution of the digital postproduction landscape in South India.

Having inherited a passion for cinema from his family, in 2006, Rana’s first film as a Producer “A Belly full of Dreams” won him the National Award for best film.

London Digital Movie & TV Studios also wish to announce that they will shoot their first Blockbuster studio film in 2018 with Rana Daggubati starring alongside a legendary Hollywood screen Goddess.

http://www.ldmtvstudios.com/

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