Delhi has one. Mumbai has one. Even Ludhiana has one. And now, joining the cities that boast their own salsa congress is Calcutta.
The inaugural Kolkata International Salsa Congress, an initiative by Vive la Salsa in association with t2, starts on Friday night with a party at Swissotel’s Maaya and a promise to extend the partying beyond the first weekend of the New Year.
“Calcutta witnessed a salsa boom in end-2005 but is now past its fad phase. The salsa community is growing and the timing is just right for KISC,” said Aditya Upadhya, founder and chief instructor of Vive la Salsa.
The three-day Latin dance festival will see students, doctors, engineers, fashion designers, parents and their children come together to dance salsa under one roof. Calcutta apart, the event will have participants from Guwahati, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Varanasi and Jamshedpur.
The two pillars of any salsa congress are the workshops and the social parties. “Over 20 workshops are on offer over the weekend — eight hours on Saturday and six on Sunday. These will cover salsa, bachata, Zumba, Kizomba, Zouk Lambada, belly dancing, tango, Pachanga, jive, Afro, rumba, footwork, musicality, styling and body movement,” said Shaneel Mukerji, instructor and operations manager of Vive la Salsa.
The venue is South City International School and each workshop will have both beginner and advanced levels.
Afro Cuban dancer Maykel Fonts (choreographer and Streetdance 2 actor) is the star instructor for the event. Meeting fellow salsa aficionados from across the world is also a huge attraction for salsa enthusiasts like Shalini Patherya.
“This will be my first salsa congress, so I am really looking forward to this weekend. May this be the first of many to come!” Shalini said.
The salsa congress will close on January 6 with a show called Stand Up and Dance and then a party at Plush. To be hosted by stand-up comedian Papa CJ, the finale will see the coming together of comedy and Latin dance performances.
Designer Nupur Kanoi, part of the Vive la Salsa family for over five years, has travelled to other salsa festivals across the country. “It’s an exhilarating experience, so packed with energy that even after three days you seem to have not had enough of dancing. I can’t wait for the Calcutta edition to begin. As a city, we are finally waking up to international forms of dance,” she said.
The organisers too are thrilled with the response. “It’s fantastic to see our plans slowly turning into the event we had hoped for. It’s hectic and a lot of hard work but we would happily do it again!” signed off Aditya and Shaneel.
Those who haven’t signed up yet can register on the spot at the party in Maaya or the workshop at South City International School.