Written by: Madeeha Syed
Recently a representative from American Voices — an organization based out of the US to promote youth empowerment through the performing arts and, in the process, spread awareness and appreciation of the American culture — held a Broadway dance workshop at the Body Beat dance studio. Those present included the director and choreographer of the studio, Hassan Rizvi, Made 4 Stage’s Nida Butt, VJ Anoushey Ashraf, VJ/film-maker Jibran Zuberi among others.
The workshop was conducted by Michael Parks Masterson (vocalist, dance choreographer and director) whereas other members of American Voices, John Ferguson (pianist and executive director) and Carole Hanna McCann (director, choreographer, and writer) were also there. One also spied George from the TV series George Ka Pakistan at the event.
The workshop spanned a little over an hour and focused on how to dance to House music. Parks’ direction included a basic understanding of timing, rhythm, poise, clarifying on the ‘working leg’ when dancing as well as a tips and information on the evolution of dancing to House and steps on how to improve your technique. After the workshop, students from the Body Beat dance studio along with Hasan Rizvi demonstrated a dance from one of their previous practice sessions.
American Voices came to Pakistan on the invitation of the US Consulate General. According to Nida Butt, the company hosting them here was also assisting them in conducting similar workshops at different venues throughout the city, one of which also at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Members of Made 4 Stage have been receiving periodic training from members of American Voices which is supposed to culminate into a performance containing bits and pieces of an eclectic mix of different Broadway musicals.