THEIRS IS perhaps one of the most inspiring stories to have come out of Chandigarh of lately. It’s also one-of-a- kind dance group that has got the judges and audience sit up and take notice of their unique talent. As the Question Mark dance group makes it to the grand finale of Star Plus’s dance reality show, Dance +, the boys from this hood stop by the city and share the story of their struggle and success.
“To be honest, it’s never been easy,” says the leader and spokesperson of the group, 28-year-old Shravan. With his home in Raju Colony, Mauli Jagran, Shravan, who works part-time at a medical store, has been dancing for 10 years now.
In spite of the opposition from his parents, the lack of any facility, money, moral support or back-up from any academy/agency, Shravan along with Vinod continued to learn dance from their teacher Dina Nath, and would present solo performances at Kalagram in Chandigarh. It was a stage that gave them a high, a place to unleash their talent and passion, a space to rehearse and perfect their art.
“Soon, more boys joined in, and we grew from 12 to 30, although now we are a group of 16,” adds Shravan, as he introduces the rest of the gang.
While Sonu, Chandan and Sanjay are pursuing their studies, Suraj is a sweeper at a factory in Ram Darbar, Manoj washes cars, Robin is a mechanic, Suresh and Vinod are vegetable sellers and Krishna, a fruit seller. It was with Vinod that he formed the Question Mark group three years ago.
“We toyed with so many names and just couldn’t zero in on any. We were a big question mark – for our family, for ourselves, for society. We didn’t know how we will carry forward this group, or dance or move ahead. Hence, the name Question Mark just stuck with us,” says Shravan.
Known for their unique hand formations in their choreography, this was a move they started only to tell the name of their group. Today, it’s their signature style around which entire tracks are designed and a story is narrated. The memorable ones are a helicopter, the map of India, and Being Human.
Born to dance, it’s sheer hard work, perseverance and passion that has catapulted the crew to national arena.
“There was a time when we were shunted out of Kalagram. A lot of thefts had taken place. The managers said before we got into trouble, we should move out. So, we started practising at the back of Kalagram, in a jungle area,” says Shravan.
The boys continued to dance without any water, electricity, back-up or safety gear in the jungle area, a dangerous rehearsal space. This is also one of the reasons they don’t have girls in their crew.
“Plus, girls can be quite trying themselves,” laughs Shravan, sticking to his all-boy band.
In the top four on the show today, the boys recall days of auditioning for various shows and dance programmes on television. “We had never dreamed we would reach this far. If we win the Rs 25-lakh prize, our future will be made. Our friends, families will be proud,” they say, appreciating the show’s super judge Remo D’Souza and their mentor Sumeet Nagdev for their constant motivation.
Catch them at the finale this Sunday, October 11, on Star Plus.Meanwhile, it’s Chak De, Question Mark!