Bollywood kid show update

12:01 PM

So Saturday evening was the tacky school show I mentioned here, my daughter has been given a horrid frilly yellow and green sequined nightmare outfit to take home on Friday for us parents to dress the kiddos before bringing them to the venue, a slip mentioned that some kids will have two performances and a costume change backstage, but no mention of which kids would be shaking their body twice on stage and a mention that we had to put light make up on the kids and tie their hair up neatly. Make up? On a 2.5 years old, not happening, Ishita went with two pigtails and some hairclips to tame her thin crazy hair, and that was it, the outfit really looked horrible enough.
We reached the venue and saw a sea of rainbow coloured sequined kiddos, took our seats, and waited, the principal said a few words, reminded us to refrain from using our own cameras as they hired a pro who would put a CD together, and to clap for all the kids and stay until the end of the show, even if their kid was in one performance and  released at the intermission. And added as a last word that we should not feel bad if our kids were not performing the routine.
The show started, there were various songs, the worst choices in my opinion were chammak challo, twist and Anjana Anjani. The only kid appropriate being the song from Taare Zameen par which features Aamir Khan dressed as a clown in front of his classmates…a kid song.
Now a good solid 90% of the kids didn’t move much, despite the two choreographers being in front of the stage doing the moves to encourage them, that wasn’t really surprising really, how one can expect kids this young to get a dance routine on a song they don’t even get? My point exactly, a few kiddos were cranky (again don’t make a show at 6.30pm with kids as young as 1.5 years of age) some cried the minute they were on stage and had to be taken back to their parents. I strongly think that should they have gone for nursery rhymes and a matinee show there would be more performance on stage…oh well!

Now there were 10% of kids that got it, and they are probably kids that have a performing bone in their body, Ishita was one of them, and probably one of the only kid that had her eyes glued on the choreographer and did copy his every move energetically and having a blast. I actually laughed, because yes she has always had a sense of rhythm and dances at home too, on just about any music. She was in two songs, the first one for which I dressed her into the hideous yellow tutu and sequined backless green halter top was….CHAMMAK CHALLO!!!!!!!!!! Yup they put her in one of the tackiest song of the lot, and in fact the outfit should have clued me in, because that is a vaguely more decent version of what the background dancers are wearing in the original clip…sigh. Quite disturbing to see my little tot put one hand on the hip and the finger of the other hand on her cheek and shake it…she was the only one in that group dancing it so accurately too. The second song she was dressed in a patent leather type of short and a glittery halter top that was at least ore decent than the one she got in her first performance, the song? No idea I never heard it before and didn’t grasp the lyrics much, again Ishita was jumping and shaking on cue watching the choreographer like a hawk while the other kids in the group didn’t quite get it.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of the teacher after the show, or the principals, the teachers were too buzzy dressing kiddos back into street clothes and making sure that each got handed to their respective parents, and the principal was buzzy talking with a lady politician that is apparently supporting the school or something.
What left me smug though is that a vast majority of the kids didn’t dance much, or at all, a few were standing frozen on the stage wondering what the heck they were supposed to do, and looking pretty clueless, fortunately it seems toddlers are still toddlers despite the school best effort to throw a glitzy show and hired costumes and professional dancers to get them to perform.
As for Ishita, I knew all along she would dance, she loves to dance, so much so that DH and I are thinking of finding a classical dance teacher in a couple of years should she want to take dance classes, for now, we will let her be and enjoy freestyle dancing on anything that plays on the stereo or TV at home, a solid 99% of the stuff she dances to is age appropriate and she is a pro at dancing the Dora “We did it song” and the Mickey Mouse “Hot dog dance” ha!

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  1. That is so, so typical. I've been working with Indian schools since 2010 (north India) as a trainer, and they ALL do their "annual days" this way when it comes to the little ones. no concept of what's child appropriate, too late in the day, expecting tiny children to do routines more suitable for 6-7 yr olds, spending a lot of money on horrible tacky costumes, parents who are rude and pushy and still take photos anyway and most leave after their kid has performed. A lot of this is because the so-called primary/pre-primary teachers are some of the worst-trained (or not trained at all) educators in India. disgusting...I feel your pain/frustration.

  2. I feel your pain having to work in that kind of environement too.
    I still don't get why they didn't do a show with nursery rhymes and jungle animals, but apparently Bollywood trumps all other theme...sigh
    And yup despite the warning, half the parents had their camcorders and to just be able to see my daughter perform I had to stand and move to the side to see something...crazy, and indeed all the parents of the kids who had only one dance did leave mid-show...rude!

    The thing I find the most hilarious though is that a week before that event I had a PT eeting during which I got lectured on the fact they were not sure my daughter understood English because she wasn't ALWAYS following instruction...clearly she followed the dance instructor's instruction to the letter, so she understands enough alright!

  3. I'm so glad that pain is over for you! I remember my son's four year old kindergarten performance last year, and it was about as you describe here - some kids did well, but most forgot the routine completely. I also had to keep craning my neck to get a look at my boy in the performance. They did "nutbush", "macarena", and some christmas songs. The Christmas songs were completely irrelevent for us, as we are Hindu, but it was cute none the less, and pretty much un-offensive.

  4. Yeah at least Christmas songs are innocent and age appropriate, not the best choice still but at least kiddie friendly.

  5. Hi Cyn, there just seems to be too much pressure on these little one's to perform! I'm with you, nursery rhymes would have been an appropriate choice given the children's ages!

  6. eah the Indian school system puts far too much pressure on kids, I had people telling me it was a necessity because a good education is the only salvation people can get to earn good mony, ironically the Indian school system isn't even good education, all it requires from students is to have a good memory, once you train the memory to spit facts on demands you ace an exam easily enough. I got to see what the french board exam in bangalore looked like tutoring girls 10 days before said exam, from year to year the structure of the exam remains the same, with the same questions in the same order, the sentences are the only one that change. And that infamous board exam was 10 times easier than my weekly English tests when I was in school in Switzerland! the languages tests back home ask a student if they can mke sentences on their own, the one in the board exam in India only ask the kids if they memorized the grammar and conjugation rules specific for the exam question itself.
    The way a see it any idiot with a good memory can do it and yet still come out of it not speaking a single word of French in the people stop telling me how education exellence is achieved in Indian schools, this is BS.
    they just don't let kids be kids as well :(

  7. My mom was a KG teacher for long time and I have always (every year) seen her looking for new set of rhymes (english/kannada) for the annual day function. Chammak Challo for these little ones...? Oh my! I wonder who is that one person who selected/approved this song :P
    Cyn, hopefully at next year annual day Ishi gets to enjoy the rhymes / kids dance !!

  8. There used to a be a time teachers cared about their job, I strongly feel that Bollywood theme is an easy option, they just pick the songs, hire a guy to teach the kids steps so they don't have to, and that is it :(
    Sadly most school are more in there for the money than the interest of the kids and parents. I dread even starting to look for KG and elementary school for her, not even sure her current playschool will stay where it is, they aren't supposed to be in a residential building but they deny that the housing society asked all school in the complex to vacate premises :(


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