Versha Magan sees the importance of preserving and promoting the traditional arts, yet also understands the need to incorporate innovative techniques to reach diverse audiences.
Magan, a dancer with considerable grace and presence is capturing the attention of connoisseurs of Indian dance both here and abroad.
After experiencing 3 years of ballet at the age of 8, thereafter translating her unique dance forms to modern dance for another 2 years, Magan found herself drawn to Indian dance.
Part of her training has been the North Indian Kathak style of dance in London. The contemporary and Bollywood jazz styles followed thereafter.
She has performed at major festivals and venues in the United Kingdom and South Africa apart from her acting stints on the popular South African soapie “Isidingo”, proudly South African movie production, “Mr Bones II” and production & choreography for Supersport – Cricket 2011.
One of her key choreography highlights was for the internationally acclaimed production “RED” (2006) by Raza Jaffrey who performed in Bombay Dreams with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Magan had the honoured opportunity to also assist with the choreography in the production “FUSION” (2005/6), by Tyrone Watkins.
Magan had come to realize that people love Indian dance so much, and thought there has to be a more standardized way to present Indian dance. There wasn’t any place for an individual to just go and see quality Indian dance.
Her goal is to raise the bar in presenting Indian dance to the world, and wants to make sure her work educates people too. Her goal for Indian dance – “I want people to embrace the culture and the traditions through dance.”
The dance academy sets sights on teaching an amalgam of dance forms with a strong base in the North Indian Classical dance form of Kathak. While Kathak will be the building block, numerous forms such as ballet, jazz, hip-hop, Bollywood and contemporary styles are introduced at various levels. Sharing her knowledge and ability of dance as a teacher at the Jhankaar School of Dance for the past 21 years has been the most rewarding experience spiritually, physically and mentally.
With every annual production prepared by DR Ranjit Lalloo, (18 productions to date), she was given an opportunity to choreograph which excited her to the core. Some other choreography with Surya – 2007 and Garam Masala – 2008, was also showcased at the FNB Dance Umbrella, respectively. Magan goes on to mention that she owes much to Dr Lalloo, who has helped fulfill a dream since she was a chilld.
Jazzy Masala holds the belief that tradition is a continuum of evolution and hopes to invigorate classical works with a freshness and unique voice. They have presented at festivals in South Africa to tremendous audience acclaim.
South African audiences will be privy to a magical dance performance of Armaan at the Gold Reef City’s Lyric Theatre, courtesy of Versha Magan’s dance company, Jazzy Masala Creative and the diverse selection of fantastic dancers who make up this breathtaking ensemble. With the venue packed wall to wall, the atmosphere on and off the stage is scheduled to be infectiously exhilarating.
“Indian classical music, although very mathematical in terms of Ragas (Harmonic Notation) and Talas (Beats), also awakens the divine or spiritual energy that we all possess, thus bringing the out the true Bhava (emotion) in the various art forms associated with it.”