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A modern dance revolution

Culture: A dance revolution that took the world by surprise has found its way into Bhutan. It was only a matter of time that free style dancing including street dancing, hip-hop and b-boying (breakdancing) got to Bhutanese youth.

The advent of television and internet has facilitated this growing popular culture in the country. Often times, young people in groups can be seen practicing at the Clock Tower Square and Thai pavilion in Thimphu.

Today, one team reigns supreme in this form of dancing in the country. A dancing group comprised of some of the best local hip-hop dancers, Druk Dream Team (DDT) aims to become the first professional dance crew of the country.

DDT started as a small group with only six members in 2013. Led by Chado Namgyel, the group was first formed in Bangalore where they started with only the b-boying form of dancing.

It was only after two years in August 2015 that DDT was formally established with 15 core members. One of the biggest dancing events hosted in Thimphu last year, “Bringing In The Hip Hop Bhutan Vol-I” initiated by Dr Tregxel with support from popular dancing groups in the country such as Thai Boys, Hi-Druk, Seven Star, and 7FG, gave DDT the much needed kick start.

Today, the team has 18 core dancing members along with several supporters and dancing enthusiasts training with them.

The team coordinator Chado Namgyel said that it was inevitable that the youth would pick up on the various international cultures with modernisation. “We cannot stop them from getting influenced by different cultures but we can guide them towards the right direction,” said that 23-year-old.

Chado Namgyel said that DDT’s vision is to promote unity and harmony in the country through dance by engaging youth in various productive activities.

The team along with its mentor, Dr Tregxel is organising another major dancing competition in Thimphu next month. Titled, Gokab, the event will be the biggest hip-hop dance battle in the country featuring some international judges as well as performers. The competition will include beat-boxing, b-boying and all style dances at the Clock Tower Square in Thimphu.

Dr Tregxel said that the competition is being organised mainly to bring together people with similar interests. “It is also to let our dancers to get exposure and know where they stand in the dance world. To encourage them to be more focused and determined to work harder and keep on improving.”

He said that Gokab is an opportunity for the young talents in the country to work hard and find a purpose to their dancing.

Meanwhile, a Thai contemporary dancer, Orawee Tadtiang organised a contemporary jazz charity workshop to generate funds for DDT and its members to rent a dance space in Thimphu. The charity workshop was  conducted in Bangkok last week with support from the Bangkok City Ballet and Stories to Tales Theatre.

The team met Orawee Tadtlang last year when the Thai choreographer came to Bhutan for Camp Raven. Orawee Tadtlang not only helped DDT with the charity workshop but also funded the team for their trip to Darjeeling.

DDT won their first freestyle dance competition last year organised by TashiCell. The team is also the first to take part in an international competition in Darjeeling last year.

Younten Tshedup 

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