What a pleasure it is to be part of many of the valley’s dance/musical debuts! It is an experience which imparts knowledge of various aspects related to these events to both the hosts as well as the vendors involved. Apart from the strenuous and rigorous practices that the child has to undertake, an almost year-long preparation that the parents follow through is equally engaging too. Parents are given solicited and unsolicited advice for many aspects involved in the entire process and one has to choose carefully.
With the ‘guru’ giving a green signal to the parents about the debut, the hunt of venue gets the ball rolling towards the D-day. A list of all items, starting with the venue rental that are absolutely necessary for the event, depending upon the ‘guru’s’ expectations sets the tone for the event. The venue rental being a major part, some situations such as, the venue having grandfathered rights for the ‘guru’, makes it easier for one to secure the date and time of one’s choice. It could also give the parents the ability to work with the crew who have a better knowledge about what is expected of them before, during and after the performance. It is always a good idea to have a back-up venue lined up until the final call is to be made. Many art centers and school auditoriums welcome a walk through before you make a decision about the venue itself. Some of the venues have in-home crew and some have outsourced their services. Taking into consideration of these set-ups and meeting up with these members will go a long way on the day of. Also the restriction with regard to serving food and drinks before, after and during the event varies from venue to venue, which could also sway ones’ decision about renting a space. After careful consideration of such factors, one will need to remit the check for reservation of the venue as our well-known Aum – the symbolical beginning.The dancer/ musician not only needs to learn those beautiful numbers that ‘guru’ has planned specially for her/him, but also needs to be adorned with appropriate jewels and/or costumes and make-up. Photo shoot provides the much needed run through for the long hours that the performer will have to endure on the day of her/his recital. Buying or renting jewels and costumes will find parents either flying to India or coordinating these with friends and family to get the best they can. Choosing the photographer and the make-up artist from the referrals provided should not be too time consuming and a request to see sample pics and such could help in the decision making process.
Then come the frills and fancies that one adds to it dependent on what the parents have envisioned for their child’s special day. What expectations do you have about the invitation card, guest book as well as the program brochures? Where do you want to get the printing job done? Who will be designing the same for you? How elaborate is the foyer décor going to be? What theme do you want to present at the foyer? What will be the back drop? What about posters of your child? How about the food and drinks to be catered? Etc, etc. As simple or as elaborate one wishes to make it, event coordinators, décor rental agents and caterers can be hired to meet one’s expectations. Yet again, photographers, videographers, make-up artist are to be hired for the day of the event. Ensuring that there is a good friends and family circle to coordinate on the day of is extremely important.
A clear-cut discussion with the ‘guru’ and the other members of the dance school who are involved is necessary to understand when and how many volunteers are expected at the venue and back stage. A pre-production meeting should be duly attended by all the parties involved to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This will be an opportunity to clarify any doubts and questions anyone involved might have. Exchange of email and contacts with the staff of the rental venue proves to be a great idea both for the organizers as well as the vendors hired.
Accommodations for the accompanying artistes will need to be discussed and prior arrangements to pick them up from airports, etc need to be coordinated. Similarly all logistic regarding visiting family and friends will have to be organized ahead of time to avoid any issues. From welcoming guests at the venue to carefully storing the gifts that the child receives or giving away goodie bags, many volunteers are to be recruited and assigned jobs to.
As days go by, little details such as Gatorade or coconut juice for the performer, fans for the side stage, etc can be added to the list of things that one will need to load their vans and trucks with the day before the event. Whatsapp and messaging groups in addition to the email chains have become a convenience to keep all those involved updated. Crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s will need a lot of involvement and time , but it will be all worth it once you see your little angel up on stage giving his/her very best.
Happy preparations for your upcoming dance/ musical debuts.