Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Announcing The Vanaver Caravan World Dance Workshops and Performance Schedule in Udaipur

 After months of careful discussions with Vanaver Caravan dance troupe's founder director, dancer/choreographer Livia Vanaver and their India program co-ordinator, dancer/choreographer Miranda Ten Broeke regarding the world dance and choreography workshops we will offer, and program planning with our colleagues in Udaipur, we are finally delighted to announce the imminent arrival of the VC team on January 5th 2014 to Udaipur and their subsequent teaching schedule & performance date in the city.

January 2014 Teaching Team

VC founder directors, famed dancer/choreographer Livia Vanaver and her virtuoso/ composer husband Bill Vanaver, and two of its greatest dancers, Riverdance tap dance legend & Kungfu master, Joel Hanna; and VC’s beloved Udaipur project leader, Miranda Ten Broeke.

January 2014 Teaching Schedule:
Besides intensive children’s dance classes at St. Matthews and the Badi government tribal school, VC’s 2014 Udaipur schedule includes a “Women’s World Dance & Choreography Workshop” from January 6th to14th; and a “Women’s Martial Arts Workshop” from January 15th to 23rd. Livia and Miranda will lead the women’s dance workshop and focus on holistic dance & movement training to boost all participants’ confidence, grace, flexibility and expressiveness. Kungfu black belt and dancer/choreographer, Joel will teach the martial arts workshop and present fluid self-defense techniques to enhance women’s strength, balance and poise.

Class Timings

Women’s World Dance: Jan 6-13, 3:30 to 4:30 pm & 4.40 to 5.40 pm, Café Nirvana Dance Studio
Women’s Self-Defense: Jan 15-23, 5:00 to 6:00 pm, Café Nirvana Dance Studio, Sajjanghar Road.
Heartbeater VC classes: children - 6:00 to 7:00 pm; young adults - 7:00 to 8:00 pm, Jan 6-13, R.K. Mall

Awards and Celebrations
All students will receive Certificates of Achievement and perform in Recital Parties at the end of their course. A final performance recital for all groups will be hosted by Shilpgram on January 24th.

Invitation to Udaipur

We invite all of Udaipur’s aspiring dancers to participate and we’re certain they will be delighted by VC’s teaching talent and creativity. The WZCC’s assistance has been priceless; but special credit must also go to our other project partners like Bharat Verma of Heartbeaters Dance School, Mrs. Madhu Sareen and Mrs. Purvi Mistry for their inspiring cooperation and Sajjangarh’s Café Nirvana Dance Studios for classroom space.

For info on enrollment, class fees, etc. please see BMCT’s project blog or contact Rita Dixit-Kubiak: email -; mobile - 869-637-3193


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Children's Day Celebration at St Matthews

14 November is India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawharlal Nehru's birthday. Schools across the country celebrate this day as Children's Day with students presenting multi-cultural shows as a part of the day's celebrations. Gloria Phillip's, Principal St. Matthews Senior Secondary School, kindly invited us to the occasion. St. Mathew's does not have dance as a formal part of their curriculum. However I witnessed a deep enthusiasm for dance and music in the students and teachers alike.

The photos below are of dances choreographed by the students. Bollywood's music and dance styles and graceful, festive costuming factored into virtually all the choreographies. There was a lovely celebratory atmosphere.

A Punjabi Bhangra dance number
Hip hop


In the end the entire school was invited to dance  .....

12th grade students inviting all to dance

.... and soon everyone was dancing. It was St Matthew School's spontaneous grand finale for their Children's day program!
St Matthew's School students coming alive!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Government Primary and Middle School at Badi Village

BMCT is grateful that Ms. Joytsna Jhala, Principal of the Government Primary & Middle School at Badi Village outside Udaipur city welcomes our 2014 World Dance Residency program led by the Vanaver Caravan for her students.

Ms. Jyotsna Jhala Principal
Our Japanese colleague Mr. Takeshi Okumura who donated funds to build a childrens's library for the village next to the school introduced me to Jyotsna a few years ago. Takeshi who partnered us in several cultural exchange programs between Kyoto & Udaipur city throughout the 1990s was very keen that we extend our art based programs to the children in Badi. 
Takeshi Okumura & David Kubiak

The School

Children's Library, Badi

We are delighted to have an opportunity to work with these children. The majority of them are from tribal families with forestry, fishery and agrarian background. 

The photos below of the children are from a typical day at the school. 

4th grade students 

5th graders instructing third grade students
5th grade students responding to my inquiry

6th graders at their teacher's desk

Student art on the corridor walls

Including the Principal there are 3 full time teachers at the school. Jyotsna welcomes community input in the education process. As a result the children are comfortable and open with new comers and guests. They seem relaxed with their teachers and self motivated. The class room walls and corridors are full of educational charts and colorful student drawings. It seems art and craft is intrinsic to their life. Jyotsna informed us that dance and theater is also an integral part of their children's cultural background. It is my haunch that we will learn equally much from these children rooted in their nature based traditions.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Musical possibilities in Udaipur for International Cultural Exchange

From ancient times music & dance naturally interweave to express about people's life, beliefs, surroundings, joys & sorrows. Vanaver Caravan keeps alive global dance and music traditions and inspired by these traditions choreograph their own dances and compose their own music. VC performances in the US are accompanied by live music. 

BMCT believes that with VC's 2014 teaching tour to Udaipur, Bill Vanaver, Co-founder Director and lead musician and composer for the Vanaver Caravan could start a fruitful exchange with Udaipur city's virtuoso musicians for fresh music compositions to new dance choreographies. Here are a few of those brilliant Udaipur musicians that keep the city's cultural life alive.

Bhargav Mistry
Samarth Janve

Musicians from Sayari Roots of Gypsy

Pandit Ram Krishan Bose


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Women's Self-Defense Workshop - January 6~14, 2014

Martial Arts for Girls & Women

BMCT is happy to announce Shakti Academy's first martial arts workshop. VC's Joel Hanna is not only a brilliant dancer & choreographer, he's also a black-belt Kung-fu master who both teaches this ancient discipline and incorporates it in his art. His Udaipur workshop will be tailored for women's self-defense, consist of eight classes, and cost Rs1,500 for the whole course.

Joel in Motion

Joel Hanna's Kungfu practice/perforamance in New York.

Please contact: Rita Dixit-Kubiak for further inquiries 8696373193

Friday, November 8, 2013

VC Teachers Assisting the BMCT Shakti Academy Project - 2014 & 2012

These web-based news articles and youtube links are here to introduce our viewers to the amazing Vanaver Caravan teachers and artists we have the pleasure to work with in BMCT's school courses, community programs and our Shakti Academy Project.

Livia & Bill Vanaver, co-founder/directors Vanaver Caravan.
About Livia and Bill Vanaver

Write up on Livia and Bill Vanaver
Bill Vanaver & co playing "Flight to the Moon" from Earthbeat
Bill Vanaver & co playing "peace pin" for a swing dance number
Livia's rendition of late dancer-choreographeer Ruth St. Denis's dance "the Peacock"

Miranda Ten Broeke
VC India Program Coordinator

Marina Lopez 

VC India Program Co-Coordinator

Miranda, Marina & Livia talk about the Shakti Academy project to raise funds for their passage to India:

Joel Hanna
VC dancer teacher Kung-fu master & choreographer

Interview with Joel Hanna


Gustavo Caldas
VC dancer, teacher, Capoeira master & choreographer

Gustavo performing on stage for EarthBeat 

Ramona Staffeld
VC dancer teacher & choreographer

Ramona in Beantown camp 2010

 On Ramona                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Monday, November 4, 2013

Flier for World Dance Residency in Udaipur Schools

In the last week we have pitched the Vanaver Caravan World Dance Residency at two more schools in Udaipur, namely, The Study Senior Secondary School at Badi & The Junior Study School at Ambaugarh. At The Study we presented the program to students from the 3 to the 8 grade. The Junior Study is a primary school and we pitched the program to their 3rd and 4th graders.

We were delighted at the enthusiasm the students had towards learning dance and also about other cultures. They had a great deal of openness and a whole lot of questions and insights on the importance of dance and understanding foreign cultures.

The flyer below is a sample pitch that we are handing out at schools that will participate in the dance workshops. This particular flyer was made for The Study School.

Global Dance Workshops for Women

Workshops for women who love movement and dance!

Courses for Dancers & Choreographers

BMCT announces the January 2014 Global Dance Course led by the Vanaver Caravan dancer teachers.

January 2014 Vanaver Caravan Community Classes in Udaipur

Livia Vanaver founder director of  The Vanaver Caravan dance troupe has kindly agreed that she and other Vanaver teachers will lead a series of dance, choreography and martial art workshops from the 5th to the 14 of January 2014 for the Udaipur community. Each set of workshop includes 8 one hour sessions which will culminate in a public performance. Each set of workshop is RS 1500 per person payable to Big Medicine Charitable Trust. Udaipur. The students will learn a mix of dance warm ups, train in specific dances and participate in fresh dance choreographies. The VC master teachers trained in north American and world dance traditions, with many of them having additional knowledge of various martial art traditions, have a repertoire of over 100 dances (

Several vibrant choreographies seen in their two current shows, 'Earth Beat' and 'Pastures of Plenty' come from their extensive knowledge of  music, dance, body movements rhythm & beat. We are delighted that the VC are now ready to share this "in body knowledge" and understanding of world cultures through the performing arts with the community in heritage city Udaipur.

Our community classes include:
-International dance workshops for dancer choreographers
-International dance workshop for women
-A women's self defense workshops in Chinese Kung-fu martial art techniques lead by black belt Kung-fu master and Tap dancer, Joel Hanna

Please contact: Rita Dixit-Kubiak for further inquiries 8696373193

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pitching the World Dance Residency Program to St Mathews School Students

Principal Gloria Phillips of St Mathew's Senior Secondary School Udaipur kindly invited David and me over to her school on September 2nd to talk to her students about the second VC/BMCT World Dance Residency Program scheduled for January 2014.

We talked to two sets of students, from the 6th to the 9th grade and from the 4th and 5th grades. David engaged them right away with his introductory questions. 'What brings your mind to school every day?' 'The body,' chimed the elder kids without hesitation, while the younger ones brightly answered, 'We do.' What happens to your body while your mind works such long hours at school every day?

  4 th & 5th graders offering their rapt attention
The students answer was unanimous in both groups, 'we get tired.' 
David inquired, 'you think your body would like to do more than just get parked in a desk all day?'
'Yes' was the immediate response.
'Does your body like to run?' David continued, 'and sports, does it like sports?'
Again the students loudly responded "yes!" to both questions. 
And finally he asked, 'how about dance? Does it like to dance?' And their 'YES!' was deafening.
Both students and teachers were delightfully receptive to our promotion of dance based learning. They loved Vanaver Caravan's promo videos that introduced their world dance training methods in US schools, the VC/BMCT 2012 World Dance program in Udaipur, and beautiful choreography from VC's 'Earth Beat.' 

6th to 9th grade students listening intently
For 30 years Vanaver Caravan teachers have brought their passion for the performing arts and intercultural education to American schools with a wide repertoire of world dance and music. They have taught teachers how to link dance and music to school curricula and students' understanding of history, geography and social studies.  According to VC's charismatic director & co-founder, Livia Vanaver, 'our dance classes not only give students a wonderful in-body experience, they nurture an appreciation of world cultures that energizes their search for knowledge far more generally'.  

David inquires,'what brings your mind to school each morning'?
Vanaver Caravan & BMCT's first world dance residency program in January 2012 in three Udaipur schools confirmed our favorite premises
  • dance & music transcend manmade boundaries spreading respect & understanding; 
  • the young respond quickly and positively to learning through their bodies, and
  • body based learning heightens well-being, self-confidence & general curiosity. 
The participating schools in 2012, local Udaipur newspapers, parents and the children themselves were struck by how much the VC teachers had taught the students within a few short lessons. The teachers had managed to teach the students not only lovely world dances, but also about the music and cultures behind them. Equally impressive, they drew out the students' innate expressiveness and grace, and the children responded with a focus, enthusiasm and creative aptitude that blew the teachers away. 'Udaipur's kids are just amazing!' they exclaimed, 'let's come back and keep doing this.'

We saw, heard and were delighted by all the passion and talent in both students & teachers as well as their obvious fond mutual respect. So once again we are proud to invite a VC teaching team to return to Udaipur in January and continue this remarkable intercultural and psychosomatic adventure. 

Students responding

VC-BMCT World Dance Residency Program
- Dates: 15th Jan - 24th Jan 2014
- Each 20-student group will enjoy:
  •  Six 50 - 60 minute workshops
  •  Two rehearsal classes
  •  A final public performance of all groups
We expect participation from four Udaipur senior secondary schools & one free government school, with 40 students from each institution. The fee per student for the entire residency is Rs 1020. This amount will cover the organizational and hospitality budget for the VC teachers and the entire program.

Depending on school participation, BMCT may open the 2014 World Dance Residency program to the Udaipur public as well. Stay tuned...

Monday, September 2, 2013

VC World Dance Residency Classes 2014

New York's Vanaver Caravan & Udaipur's Big Medicine Charitable Trust are again inviting local schools and students to sign up for our 2014 Udaipur World Dance Residency Program from Jan 15 to 24. The teaching model is explained in the short video below and we will be posting news on the content of the Udaipur program and the schools signing up.

The Ways & Means of VC Dance Residencies

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vanaver Caravan's Last Visit to Udaipur

Video Intros to 2012 Vanaver Caravan team & their wonderful Udaipur students

The Vanaver Caravan from R.J.. on Vimeo. 3 minute version

Vanaver Caravan in Udaipur 2012 from R.J.. on Vimeo.8 minute version

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Udaipur - Performances at the Mewar Festival During 'Gangaur'- 2013

Each year in spring coinciding with the Gangaur celebration dedicated to Lord Shiva's consort, Gauri, the Rajasthan Tourism Board sponsors the Mewar Performing Arts Festival in Udaipur. Dancers and musicians from all across Rajasthan come to present at this three day event. Here are two impressive video clips from the festival this year.

Rocking Bhapang Duet

Dance of the Peacocks