“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
And what’s better than speaking (I mean, dancing) your heart out on the most special day of your life. Weddings involve fun times with family and friends. Especially, we Indians love to express our joys and emotions by singing and dancing. No wonder, Indian weddings have quite a few rituals that involve singing and dancing. And why not? We all agree sangeet ceremony is not only a way to express yourself but also a wonderful way to relax and bond with your partner, family and friends, amid the hectic wedding schedule.
As a choreographer and event organizer, I often get a lot of queries related to the wedding dance and sangeet ceremony. Hence through this article, I want to address or at least try to address the most common queries I get asked.
Sangeet Party Then And Now!
The wedding sangeet scene has evolved like a dream in recent years. From being just a ladies sangeet program who got together to normal family get-togethers to being larger than life affairs. Sangeet has got a complete makeover. Today it is like a full-fledged Filmfare award show with a storyline, dedications and unusual acts. The shows are power-packed with elaborate light and music put into use, huge screens, performances by troupes, professional training etc.
In fact, couples want to try different and difficult dance forms like hip-hop, jazz etc rather than the traditional Bollywood choreography.
A lot goes into planning it apart from just sangeet choreography. Jaw-dropping bride and groom entry in extravagant themes like Bahubali, a flash mob etc. are some of the recent sangeet ceremony trends. Its all about setting a mood for anticipation and excitement within the audience about what will happen next! People are not shying away from trying new acts and in fact, want the show to be unique and entertaining.
How To Host The Perfect Sangeet Ceremony?
Well, for me a perfect sangeet night would be the one without any goof-ups and where everyone is having ultimate fun. There has to be a whole lot of vibrancy in the atmosphere. Though it may sound an ideal scenario, it can be achieved by taking care of the tiny details and planning in advance. And that’s where hiring a professional choreographer will make a difference. They know about 1000 different ways that can doom the show and how to avoid such situations efficiently. For example, you have to plan for breaks in between performances, have refreshments handy for the participants etc.
The format of your sangeet ceremony too is very important. This includes the theme, narrative, song list, bride and groom performance etc. Hiring a professional emcee is probably a good decision. He /she will ensure that the guests are kept engaged and also stick to the schedule. Once you have planned and practised the sangeet choreography, just relax and look the part on the day to put up a rocking wedding dance!
How Early Should We Start Practicing For Sangeet/Wedding Dance?
If you want to go for a really good choreographer and want an elaborate sangeet night, then you should at least speak to the choreographer as soon as your dates are fixed. Typically, you must meet the choreographer at least 3 months in advance so that you are convinced that he/she is delivering as per your expectations. Also, the choreographer gets to know about your tastes and comfort zones. Over a couple of meetings and at least 2 months before the date, fix your entire theme, songs, participants etc. And about 20-30 days before is a good time to start practising depending on the length of the show and the number of hours you can allocate per week.
The Bride And Groom Performance
Not only is the bride and groom performance extremely important but also the placement of their performance is equally crucial. The audience generally waits for the bride and groom performance. So in order to keep the house full, the sequence of bride and groom performance has to be thoughtfully planned. Ideally, it should be in the third quarter of the program. This should have a solo performance by the bride and the groom respectively followed by the couple dance preferably a medley. So it looks like a story moving forward.
I think the bride and groom performance is the highlight of the sangeet event. And the more emphasis you give to create a storyline or medley out of it will make it look like a fairy tale wedding dance. Hence for this section avoid rapid beats and choose songs that resonate with your personality and truly speaks about how you feel for your partner. It has to bring out the chemistry in the best possible way.
Also, try to include beautiful elements like LED screens, unique props, special effects like fog, fireworks, revolving wheels etc. depending on your budget and expectations for the couple wedding dance performance. If you have a pre-wedding video for display, ideally its better to play it before the bride and groom performance. This should instigate and create the necessary hype for the bride and groom performance.
What Are The Best Songs To Perform In A Sangeet Ceremony?
The songs you select for the sangeet event is crucial to keep the vibe of the party up. These days people are really outgoing and connected. They go to clubs, parties, movies, active on social media etc. Hence, they have exposure to different types of music and are abreast with the latest chartbusters. With regards to the current scenario, there is no limitation or there is absolutely nothing cliche when it comes to the music to be played at a wedding sangeet. It can be western or Indian numbers.
But considering that it is a wedding function, you definitely ought to allot a certain segment of your show to Indian wedding dance songs. Hence, allocating some time to Punjabi or Rajasthani or Gujarati wedding celebration songs with a folkish background score is a wise decision. Apart from that, you are free to choose any form of music.
While creating the playlist, keep in mind the kind of audience you are catering to. Have a mix of songs rather than stick to one genre. From the latest trending Bollywood numbers to songs that will add humour to sangeet to peppy numbers from other languages and of course the wedding songs or medley. Generally, people enjoy an energetic, uplifting and grand opening to the show like the Ganesh Vandana as it provides a celebrated feel to the occasion. Also, a bang-on finale number is a must.
What Are The Trending Themes For Sangeet Function?
Frankly, there is no end to the ideation or creativity for a wedding sangeet theme. Having said that some the popular wedding sangeet themes are mostly some aspect of the wedding ritual itself. Like, combine the sath-pheras or the seven wedding vows with a retro concept as to how the vows are kept the couples today. For example, one of the vows is to take good care of your partner and provide the basics like food. This vow can be exemplified with songs like “kissi disco mein jaaye, kissi hotel mein khaye”. Another trending concept is to set the event from the bride and groom’s perspective like their memories with siblings, friends, dedications to parents etc.
The “Retro To Metro”, Shaadi Saga, Awards Night, Bollywood Night themes are also quite popular. You can literally have any theme but to make it creative and glamorous on stage is completely in the hands of the sangeet creator/choreographer. It’s the conceptualization that makes the difference.
What Are Some Budget-Friendly Sangeet Ideas?
Given the fact that sangeet is a wedding function, it needs to have a personal touch. So the best way to go about it is to have a storyline or narrative that goes well with the story of the bride and groom whether it is a love or arranged marriage. Though the idea has been there for a while and may sound a bit cliche, the sky is the limit for creativity here. The choreography can be made more interesting by choosing off-beat numbers, using props, opting for different dance forms etc.
Plan in advance some entertainment ideas for the sangeet ceremony like games, puzzles, impromptu requests etc. to keep the event interactive and fun. Try to include activities suitable for different age-groups and that will involve the family and bride and groom’s friends. These sangeet ideas and set-up can be incorporated within the budget and will not necessarily cost you a bomb.
Here, I have sincerely tried my best to clear some common doubts revolving around planning and hosting a sangeet ceremony. And I am glad I could use BigFday’s platform to do so. Hope you find it helpful. For more ideas and sangeet choreography, videos visit us on Facebook and Instagram.