Monday, November 21, 2011

‘Let’s just dance - impromptu’

(This is a report I wrote for our newspaper today).
DUBAI: If choreographer-couple Scott and Lisa Marshall have their way, Dubai and the rest of the UAE will rock to new scintillating tunes and “surprise” twists.
A flash mob organised by the duo at Dubai airport recently has become a Web sensation and the pair has now lined up “lots of gigs,” advising residents to “keep their eyes peeled!”
It was a rare spectacle at the airport, for it’s not every day that a shopper’s paradise turns into a dancing stage. It was then that the flash mob went into action — a group of 55 people broke into an impromptu dance, taking shoppers by surprise.
A flash mob is a group of people who suddenly break out into a dance routine in a public place, without the knowledge of anyone, then disperse, often for entertainment, satire or artistic expression.
The programme, which took weeks to arrange, was organised by the airport to promote the new DXB Connect Card, a pre-paid card designed for airport passengers.
The overwhelming response at the airport as also on the Internet came as a pleasant surprise to the organisers.
Scott and Lisa, who run Diverse Choreography, say they are committed to producing such first-class bespoke shows. “We choreograph and direct all varieties of entertainment ranging from TV and pop videos to theatre, corporate and fashion shows, hence the name Diverse Choreography.”
“In the three years we have been in Dubai, the business has grown immensely, so there will be more and more performing opportunities in the years to come, for sure! It is growing bigger by the day,” avers Lisa.
The couple have worked with established artists including Cher, Kylie Minogue, Pink, Dame Shirley Bassey, Vanessa Mae, Anastacia and Girl’s Aloud. They have also worked with the ITV and the BBC on shows such as The Royal Variety Performance, Brit Awards, American Music Awards, Top of the Pops and Eurovision Song contest.
In the UAE, they have choreographed events like the Middle East’s first annual Alternative Energy Awards, Diamond and Gold Commodities Conference - Jewellery show, an event hosted by Mubadala for Ferrari and F1, Shakira at the Emirates Palace and Lamborghini launch and fashion show.
Dancing may be fun, but there is always a hidden fear that life as a professional dancer or performer may not be lucrative. Lisa, however, rejects the contention. “For dancers, there are enough performing opportunities here to sustain. Various shows are held regularly for them to be involved with. Plus, a few of the dancers here teach for us at our school, so we always keep them busy.”
“At Diverse, choreography students are trained and offered several opportunities to perform with/for us throughout the year. The biggest is our show which we hold at The First Group Theatre in Dubai every May in which all students are involved.”
The dancers are recruited for different events. A few of them have been involved in events like DXB Connect flash mob, F1, Cirque de Souq, fashion shows for Harvey Nichols and many more.
Parents seem to be happy with the trend. “My two daughters have been training for over two years. I’ve seen them go from regular talented girls to disciplined performers for both musical theatre and dancing. My girls train for 6 to 7 hours a week and I have not once heard them complain about going, even on a Thursday evening when they sometimes miss social events with their friends,” comments Camilla Oberg.
Adds Amanda Savory, another parent: “My two daughters enjoy the classes so much that they are keen to take on additional sessions each year. I have seen a passion for dance, drama and singing develop in both girls. Their confidence has soared.”
Professional dancers say that the scene in Dubai is encouraging. Victoria works as a dancer and teacher for Diverse Performing Arts School. “I have been here for over three years. There are good opportunities out in the UAE to dance as the venues are stunning and this time of year is very busy for us. The dance scene has gotten bigger by the year,” she points out.
So much so, Scott and Lisa are now planning to open their own studio in the near future, their biggest project for now.
Will there be a flash mob in Sharjah too?“Come on, do not take the fun away,” laughs Lisa. “I think that would be a little too predictable. The appeal of a flash mob, is the ‘surprise’ element!”


  1. Flash mob... seems to be an interesting concept...



  3. Good work not know about these kind of things. Learning new things from my friends posts..

  4. I've been taking dance classes in Florida for 8 years (11 hrs per week) and I LOVED your airport flash mob. Great work...about 12 of your dancers looked like true professionals!
    BTW I also lived & worked in wonderful Dubai for 2 years. Congratulations on bringing dance to Dubai...I wish you great success!!!!