Gargi Bagchi, Founder, Asavari LLC

Music and dance know not boundaries of race language or culture. For us humans dance and music have been a part of our social structure since we first stepped out of the caves and built our first cities. Anyone who uses the medium of dance and song to introduce their culture to other can best be called an ambassador. Gargi Bagchi is one such ambassador of Indian culture who has been showcasing our music and dance to foreign shores since 1997.

She spoke to Yourstory and told us of her institution, saying “Asavari LLC is an Indian Classical music and dance school located at the heart of NY, USA. We do Hindustani classical vocal,

Ghazal, Bhajan, Hindi movie songs based on classical ragas. Kathak is the main dance that we do but we also do contemporary, bollywood and bhangra or any other folk dances of India.”

“We do dances dramas (stage shows). I compose the drama and screenplay, edit it and teach it to our students and people from the South Asian community. You may see our web site for more details. We are on facebook, orkut and myspace. Sat Jun 27, 2009 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm is the mega event of my school, the 12th anniversary of Asavari. We are featuring Hindustani Classical Vocal for the first one hour and then the dance drama called “Under Cover”, which is an action thriller for the next two hours. It’s a story of 7 under cover cops and a don and his two dedicated nephews who are great masters of disguise, the breaking news of a cover page story. We make DVDs of our productions.”

Their school is not just about dance and song, Gargi explains how it means so much more saying “Our school promotes stage shows in form of vocal, dance and drama recitals and open air events. The students get big exposure and appreciation. It’s big publicity for our school as well. We are presenting our Indian culture and heritage abroad which is not only good for our school but also for the entire community, thereby, it benefits a large number of south Asian and American people.”

“We want more people to join our business in different ways, example students and their family, teachers, sponsors etc. We encourage total team work. In the next few years, I can see Asavari becoming number 1 in New York and the tri state area of North America.”

She also told us why she chose entrepreneurship over a discipline that she had studied for; she says “In spite of my Masters in Computer Science degree, I have chosen this profession because I wanted to contribute to this art form in the best possible ways abroad.”

Establishing and running an Indian dance school abroad is no mean feat and brings its share of challenges. Gargi says “I have overcome a lot of competition and challenges from various schools and institutions in NY area. The biggest challenges as of now, is my upcoming production “Under Cover” because it’s a multi-starrer project and a high budget presentation.”

She has also learnt to speak her words carefully because of a previous incident. She believes that trusting easily is a deficiency sometimes, she told us of her mistake saying “I have expressed my frustration to some people whom I had trusted like true friends.”

As independent woman she chose to start her business with her own money. With no obligations to anyone she is truly her own boss. Gargi told us of Asavari’s growth saying

“It is slow but steady... gradual and smooth... currently; its growth has increased a lot. Now, we have two branches, two different locations in NY and they are Westchester and Long Island.”

She was also pleased to report of a recent achievement that has done her proud. She prides herself on - “Last year's dance drama production “Dr. Q?” featuring mainly Kathak but also contemporary and bollywood dance style. The dvds got sold like hot cakes.”

We asked if she had been recognized for her contributions to Indian culture and she replied saying “Yes, several times by our Indo-American community. I have certificates, trophies, medals and plaques and newspaper posts as appreciation.”

“Out of many, I admire the appreciation of my presentation in South Street Sea Port, (Manhattan), New York City in front of 25,000 people (open air) on the occasion of Diwali festival and we had featured the dance drama “The Story of Kashmira” on the topic of Kashmir issues between India and Pakistan.”

She has also never looked back or contemplated taking up a normal job, she says “Not really, because I love my job and have a steady income. I have dreams too.”

The Love and appreciation from people of all races and cultures gives her motivation to live her dreams. She also stated her simple formula for success and advises budding entrepreneurs to try it saying “Honesty, efficiency, diligence and patience. Public relation is another key factor.”

Yourstory thanks Gargi and Asavari and hope that they continue to be ambassadors of our culture to people everywhere.


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