This weeks highlight grabs the attention of a group that moves rhythmically to music and narrates movies through their sways. Caper, frisk, leap, jump, prance … you name it; they have it grooving to bring out a cinema on stage.
SM Dance crew, yes you heard it right! They are able to lit a stage on fire with their moves. Lead by Thilack Osman in Montreal and NimalG Aseervatham in Toronto, together they bring a companionship that donates their talents to many young artists and various fundraiser events.
Interview with Thilack Osman:
Who is SM Dance Crew and we have seen many youngsters performing during events, how many members are part of the breed?
SM Dance Crew is a Tamil community-oriented dance group based in Montreal and Toronto. With NimalG Aseervatham leading the crew in Toronto and Thilack Osman leading in Montreal, we perform at various South Asian events, fundraisers and occasions to showcase our talent and to entertain our audience. Within our crew, we have a subgroup of teams – the primary one, which is comprised of 12 members and the junior team – which has 50 junior members. In addition, due to the increased interest within our community, we have expanded to offer dance classes to students in various locations across Montreal and Toronto.
SM Dance Crew’s motto is that we acknowledge that we are nowhere near being the best, but vow to give our best each and every single time.
How do this name and group take form? What is the history behind the group?
Sangeetha Mainthargal (SM) Dance Crew was initially founded by Nimal G Aseervatham in 1999. As an individual who was passionate about dance, Nimal G decided to start up a small dance group in Montreal. At the time of establishment, the dance crew initially consisted of a group of boys, hence the first two initials of our dance team’s name “SM” stands for “Sangeetha Mainthargal”, which in Tamil, means Sons of Music. Although this dance crew started off as an all-boy dance group, very shortly after, we proudly welcomed girls to join and represent the crew, hence why we go by the shortened version of our group name ‘SM’ Dance Crew.
Over the years, with the expansion of the team, Nimal G moved to Toronto and continues to represent SM Dance Crew in Toronto while Thilack Osman (a former student of Nimal), proudly leads and represents his team in Montreal. What was once a small dance group comprised of a couple of members who performed purely for fun at birthday parties and small-scaled shows, turned out to be a well-recognized, and respected dance sensation throughout Montreal. This, in turn, attracted more passionate members and we have been provided with countless platforms and opportunities to share our passion with a wider audience.
In 2017, we joined Instagram and Facebook with hopes to reach a wider audience and we are thrilled and beyond grateful for all the support that we continue to receive. In fact, the never-ending love and support that we received from our fans encouraged us to put on our very own show just last year, called “Aadalam Vaa” which was indeed a huge success! We were honored to invite Manoj Jackson all the way from India, who is known for being the title winner of Vijay TV’s Next Prabhu Deva and Jodi #5 to be a VIP guest on our show. With the proceeds from our show and with the help of our wonderful sponsors and supporters, we were able to give back to our community. We donated to an educational initiative in India, to those affected by natural disasters, charitable organizations and an orphanage.
We are definitively proud of how far we have come and will continue to strive to give our all (like our motto), with every performance in the near future.
Who is the inspiration for your crew and why?
The multi-talented dancer, choreographer, actor, director and producer, Prabhu Deva is our inspiration for our crew. Prabhu Deva is known for his impeccable dancing abilities. Whether it be his own dance performance or his choreography; we are always inspired and intrigued by his energy, expressions, and unique style. Alongside his tremendous talent, his passion that he has towards dance is clearly evident and we as a crew are definitely inspired by his drive, passion and hard work as these are core values we believe in ourselves.
How do you create your choreography, where do you take your ideas from?
There is a quote by Mattie Stepanek that goes like this: “Unity is strength… when there are teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved”. Likewise, when it comes to choreography, we always like to get together and brainstorm ideas as we value each other’s input and strongly believe and have seen through experience, that working together does bring out the best in all of us. This is evident through the positive feedback, and compliments we receive after our performances. In addition, sometimes we get ideas and are inspired by a dance step or a move we have encountered somewhere, whether it be on Youtube or on a dance show. We then take the particular step and recreate it, put our own spin to it and incorporate it into our choreography. Also, to set us apart from the rest, we tend to incorporate a mini skit, a little comedy, and a few dialogues into our choreography to add a sense of humor into our performance. By doing this, we ensure that our choreography is authentic, unique and entertaining.
What is the most important thing in being a choreographer?
There are many important factors that are involved in being a choreographer. Leadership, discipline, flexibility, dedication, teamwork, passion, creativity, having an open mind – all of these are crucial components in being a choreographer. However, for me, the most important thing about being a choreographer is being true to myself. By this, I mean that every dance performance that I choreograph has to be meaningful to me, my crew, and the audience. Before choreographing any performance, I like to first and foremost consider what type event the performance is for and the audience it is directed at. Based on that, I ensure that through my choreography, not only is the audience kept entertained but I strive to depict a meaningful message that will be enrooted in the hearts of all the viewers.
Which kind of music do you find more appealing to dance?
I personally find that Folk songs – Indian cinematic style music is more appealing to dance to. It’s a personal preference of mine as there is an enormous amount of energy levels involved in this type of music. Also, this type of music in generally incorporated into films in which the majority of the community is familiar with. Therefore, I find that when the audience has a sense of familiarity and can relate to the music you are performing to, it’ll be more of an enjoyable performance and definitely one to remember.
Do you believe the type of body can be an obstacle for someone to dance?
Absolutely not! I believe that all that is needed in order to dance is to have a passion for it.
Do you create choreography based on the dancer or do you expect the dancers to fit the choreography demands?
It depends on the situation. For example, when we are going to compete in a dance competition, I expect that the dancers fit the choreography demands. However, when children are involved, I create choreography according to the child’s dancing abilities because every child learns at his or her own pace and as a choreographer, we have to be aware of that. When you are able to accommodate a child’s needs, the child will excel and shine as this will promote confidence which is visibly reflective in their performance.
How can students enroll in your classes and is there a basic requirement for enrollment?
Our classes are open to anyone who has a strong interest in dance. The only requirement is that you are at least 5 years of age and above.
In order to enroll, please feel free to contact Thilack Osman through any of the following methods below:
- Telephone: 514 – 663 – 0125
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: smcrewdance
- Facebook: SM Dance Crew