SS Ballet Academy proud to follow the Vaganova Method

Entrepreneur Pratuysha Chhajer who is the director of SS Ballet Academy (SSBA) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, is proud that her academy follows the prestigious Vaganova Method. Recently, she also conducted an informative interview with a prominent award-winning ballet teacher Fethon Miozzi of Vaganova Ballet Academy, based at St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Indian academy has recently received certification from the internationally prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID); an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (popularly known as UNESCO).

The Vaganova Method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Russian dancer and pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951), who became a highly renowned ballet teacher and has authored the famous book The Foundation For Dance (more commonly known as Basic Principles of Russian Classical Dance).

Representational image

The method was derived from the teachings of the Premier Maitre de Ballet Marius Petipa, throughout the late 19th century. Agrippa Vaganova who perfected and cultivated this form of teaching classical ballet, turned it into a viable syllabus.

The Vaganova Method fuses elements of traditional French style from the romantic era with the athleticism and virtuosity of Italian Cecchetti technique. The method emphasizes development of strength, flexibility, and endurance for the proper performance of ballet.

The training system is designed to involve the whole body in every movement, with equal attention paid to the upper body, legs and feet. Vaganova believed that this approach increases consciousness of the body, thus creating a harmony of movement and greater expressive range.

Pratuysha Chhajer, director, SS Ballet Academy

In India, the SS Ballet Academy (named after Pratyusha’s children Samyan and Shonaya), was founded three years ago, to develop and train professional dancers. Starting operations in Indore, it became the first academy to introduce ballet to Central India. SSBA has now moved its headquarters to Ahmedabad, an economic hub with great cultural diversity in the vibrant state of Gujarat.

Certification courses and classes are available for students who wish to excel in ballet dance. In view of the pandemic, classes are currently being conducted online on Zoom and Google Classroom. However, the academy is gearing up to resume offline certification courses soon. After Indore and Ahmedabad, SSBA plans to expand its branches to Mumbai, Delhi and other cities across the country.

‘Black is beautiful’ gets a new meaning with Da Makeup Lab in Versova

‘Black is beautiful’ is a line synonymous with fashion. But who thought that an inanimate object in Mumbai will bag the tag. But that’s what has happened with the office of Da Makeup Lab; touted as India’s first hair, makeup and prosthetic lab.

Emerging a landmark in the heart of Bollywood in the posh locality of Versova, Andheri, Mumbai, this four-storied imposing black building with coloured dots and huge face murals painted on it, has become a centre of attraction for many. So much so that passersby not only take pictures of it, but often stand opposite it to take selfies with it in the background. Yes, you got that right — selfies with a building.

As for the lab itself, it is buzzing with activity throughout the year, with the company being owned by Preetisheel Singh D’souza and her husband-partner Mark D’souza. While Mark takes care of the business, Preetisheel looks at the creatives, constructing astonishing character designs for a plethora of films including Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Haider, 102 Not Out, Chhichhore, Housefull 4, Thackeray, Bala and the upcoming Gangubai Kathiawadi.

She is a National Award-winner and was recently featured by international website USA Newshour among the top best 5 makeup and prosthetic designers in the world, along with Hollywood stalwarts such as Kazu Hiro, Christian Tinsley, Jordu Schell and Neill Gorton. Also, she was the only woman featured in this top list of world-famous makeup and prosthetic designers.

Meanwhile, the beautiful black landmark building stands tall at Versova main road and keeps amusing everyone. We won’t say, ‘don’t miss spotting it,’ because if you happen to be in that part of Mumbai, there’s no way you can miss it.

Media raves about Divya Agarwal’s Cartel character transformations by Preetisheel Singh D’souza

Compares them with Hrithik Roshan’s look transformations

The news media is going ga-ga over the various character transformations of Divya Agarwal for the web series Cartel. Designed by character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza of Da Makeup Lab, the various looks show the Bigg Boss OTT winner in different stunning avatars.

An article in Desi Martini praises the looks to great heights saying, “The actress seems to have recreated Hrithik Roshan’s Doom 2 shape-shifting success with her role in Cartel.”

It notes that in one of the transformations into an old man, one “can hardly tell it’s her, thanks to the amazing prosthetics, and in another, she’s a cleaning lady, eons away from what she looks like in real life.”

Recently, Divya shared a time-lapse video of her transformation, diligently being done by makeup and prosthetic specialists of Da Makeup Lab which specialises in hair, makeup and prosthetics, having its landmark base in the high-end Versova locality of Mumbai.

Along with the video, the actress penned a long note saying, “This is how I spent my birthday on 4th December 2019, friends and family were waiting for me at home for celebrations and I was just so proud to start Cartel on that day! This was the cast for my prosthetic makeup, took nearly 2 hours with all my senses blocked except for my nose! I was calm, composed and yet my heart was jumping! There were calls flowing in continuously for birthday wishes, I wanted to scream and share this good news but I couldn’t! somewhere I knew my birthday gift was special that year, it was my last birthday celebration with my dad and I told him I’m doing a web series of your favourite genre and he was very happy.”

Divya plays an assassin in the crime thriller which has been released on Alt Balaji. The series has garnered a very high 8.9 out of 10 rating on IMDb.

HI-RES PHOTOGRAPHS of hair, makeup and prosthetics character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza and her work

High-resolution photographs of hair, makeup and prosthetics character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza and her work

“Teaching ballet has come as a great gift in life,” says Fethon Miozzi of Vaganova Ballet Academy

Entrepreneur Pratuysha Chhajer who is the director of SS Ballet Academy (SSBA) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, recently conducted an informative interview with a prominent award-winning ballet teacher Fethon Miozzi of Vaganova Ballet Academy, based at St. Petersburg, Russia.

In the interview, Miozzi divulged that he earlier wanted to be a doctor but it was destiny which led him to ballet dancing. “In the initial year, I did not like the strict discipline one has to adhere to while practicing ballet, but after my teachers appreciated my talent, I became a better dancer. Teaching ballet has come as a great gift that life has given me,” he says.

“Striving is the best path to being a good ballet dancer. Ballet is a difficult and strongly disciplined art form. You have to believe in yourself. Sometimes the initial journey might seem tough and painful. You will need a strong support system too — from parents, teachers, family and friends. There will be many hiccups in the path, but one should keep trying hard,” remarks the ballet teacher who loves his profession and students.

“It’s a beautiful job and it’s joyful. It’s difficult to separate and let students go after graduation. But seeing them successfully placed in big theatres is a great feeling,” he concludes.

Born in Rome, Miozzi graduated from the Roman Ballet Academy and joined the Mariinsky Ballet Theatre. After a State scholarship, he graduated with honours from the Vaganova Ballet Academy for ballet teacher and ballet master, and is since teaching at the academy, taking middle and senior classes.

Miozzi is characterized by expressiveness and great physical and theatrical attributes. He is distinguished by a classical manner, beautiful lines and light jump, having an ease with technically challenging maneuvers.

He has won several awards including the L. Massine prize for Rising Ballet Star in Italy, the Danza Si award for physical and artistic qualities, the Danza & Danza award for Best Italian Dancer in the World, and the Ballet Oscar in Italy.

Pratyusha Chhajer who beautifully and effortlessly conducted this wonderful interview is not only the founder and director of SS Ballet Academy, but also a renowned fashion designer with her own label Samyan Shonaya Haute Couture, and businesses under the brand name of Samyan Shonaya Group of Companies. She is a Melvin Jones Fellow and the founder president (charter president) of Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati Zeal.

The Ahmedabad-based SS Ballet Academy (SSBA) has recently received certification from the internationally prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID); an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (popularly known as UNESCO). SSBA aims to partner with teachers, institutes and academies from across the globe, who can help and guide its students in India, in the exquisite dance form of ballet.

Preetisheel transforms stylish Boman Irani into an urban common man

Ace character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza has sprung up yet another surprise with her transformative looks for actor Boman Irani in the latest Ambuja Cement ad.

The versatile and stylish Boman plays a simple common man in the ad, who is desperately seeking a bank loan from a resistive bank manager played by another talented actor, Vinay Pathak. When Boman’s loan doesn’t get approved, he ends up hatching a plan to rob the bank.

Boman is shown aging as time passes, with the situations in the ad taking a hilarious turn. In contrast to the funny tone of the ongoings, Preetisheel has designed some unique desi urban common man looks for the actor, which add to the charm of the proceedings in the ad.

The hair, makeup and prosthetic character designer is currently tapping new horizons by creating medical prosthetics as well as planning a makeup and prosthetics school in Mumbai.

On the film work front, she is gearing up for the release of Allu Arjun’s Pushpa, where the southern superstar has been given a very raw and rustic look.

Apart from that Preetisheel’s recent work for Ekta Kapoor’s web series Cartel has also been in the news. The way the makeup and prosthetics specialist has transformed actress Divya Agarwal, designing five different characters for her, is to be seen to be believed.

Style Bhai launches record label Touchpoint Tunes with Stay Alive

Rap star Style Bhai sang, ‘You say yo, I say namaste, you say whatup, I say kya karte!’ in the 90s and Indi-pop music lovers went crazy over this ‘Mumbai ka No.1 bhai’. He became an overnight sensation.

The ‘shaana’ Bhai is back once again with a brand new Style with his new Hindi / English song Stay Alive and launching his independent record label Touchpoint Tunes. Stay Alive has Shimla rapper Flotrix aka Trixter doing intro/outro commentary, with shout-outs by Style Bhai’s son Saje Bhai.

The music video features special appearances by some very interesting names such as rap star Apache Indian, composers Anu Malik, Pritam, Vishal Dadlani, Salim-Sulaiman and Raju Singh, singers Sonu Nigam, Shaan and Sagarika, filmmaker Suparn Varma, multifaceted media personality Angela Rebello, tennis player Rohan Bopanna, RJ Rohini Ramnathan, fitness coach Jason Stacy and even international star Quino from the legendary reggae band Big Mountain.

Stay Alive tracks Style Bhai’s nostalgic rap journey from his super successful debut in Indi-pop, through his Bollywood megahits, to his new record label Touchpoint Tunes. What’s more! Touchpoint Tunes is all set to release new songs from more Hindi rap artists and all other music genres soon.

It can be noted here that in the last few years, Style Bhai aka Indee has given us an interesting mix of music. He collaborated with ace composer Pritam on many mega-hits, writing chorus lyric-melody for the hit number Twist (featuring Saif Ali Khan) from Love Aaj Kal. Also for the Aai Paapi song (featuring Shahid Kapoor and Vidya Balan) from Kismat Konnection.

He wrote and composed melody for the opening two lines of the Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone smash hit number Love Mera Hit Hit from Billu; while Erik Diaz aka Vitamin E (who is now the in-house music producer-arranger at Touchpoint Tunes), composed the signature flute sound in the chorus.

Style Bhai also wrote, composed and sang the English rap-reggae parts on Salman Khan’s superhit number Character Dheela from Ready, which had music by Pritam.

Now with his latest number Stay Alive and the launch of his record label and website Touchpoint Tunes, Style Bhai fans once again have a lot to look forward to.

VR Kharb’s music video Bheege Lamho Me has great potential

Music video director VR Kharb has released a new music video titled Bheege Lamho Me on YouTube and the song has a great potential to hit it big.

The number is about the first love of a young middle class boy, who one day, accidentally meets a beautiful girl and falls in love with her. Director Kharb manages to shape up an amazing chemistry with his lead cast Ana Ilmi and Shivam Khujuria. The track has been sung by Vishwajeet Singh and released on Baby Music.

Apart from the unmistakable chemistry, the treatment to the music video is what gives this video number, a deep musically emotional strength. The director has crafted this video with love and passion for his art and that is the one thing that is constant throughout the visuals.

Overall, Bheege Lamho Me has all the elements of an emotional love story with melodious music at its core. With such conviction in its execution, this one has all the potential to become a chart-topper.

Preetisheel rocks as Pushpa rages

Character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza is one hell of an achiever. As if Bollywood megahits like Padmaavat, Housefull 4, Chhichore and the South blockbuster Master were not enough, the hair, makeup and prosthetic wiz has once again stunned us with her work in Southern actor Allu Arjun-starrer Pushpa: The Rise – Part 1.

In the first of two cinematic parts, the film’s plot is based on the red sanders smuggling in the Seshachalam Hills of the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. The look Preetisheel has designed for Allu Arjun has held not only her fans, but even her detractors spellbound.

The scruffy hair, the dark skintone, thick eyebrows and an unkempt-looking beard — all goes so very well with the carefree rustic character. It all adds to the feel of the raw intensity action role he is playing in Pushpa. The Icon Star, as he is famously called, Allu Arjun carries off the intense character with ease. And that is clearly visible in the recent song Jaago Jaago Bakre which has come up on YouTube.

Anyone who has heard and seen this number and the frenzy that it is building up, knows that Pushpa is on its way to get a thunderous box-office initial.

The first part of Pushpa is scheduled to release in December 2021, with the second part in 2022, in Telugu along with dubbed versions in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada languages. Written and directed by Sukumar, the film co-stars Fahadh Faasil and Rashmika Mandanna, while the music is composed by Devi Sri Prasad.

Meanwhile, Preetisheel is currently working on her forthcoming projects like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hiramandi and South star Vikram-starrer Cobra, while Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi and YRF’s Bunty Aur Babli 2 are readying for release soon. The rest of 2021 and even 2022 looks glorious for this makeup and prosthetics supertalent.

Padmaavat, Chhichhore character designer creates artificial eye for lady

National Award-winning character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza who has designed varied characters for film stars in movies such as Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Housefull 4, Thackeray, Bala, 102 Not Out, Andhadhun and Chhichore, recently helped out a lady with a missing eye. Preetisheel created a silicon eye for the lady’s appearance, as a gesture of goodwill.

Sharing some interesting images on social media, Preetisheel wrote, “There are moments like these which give us utmost satisfaction and joy, doing what we do… Like creating an artificial eye for Orbital Prosthesis for a lady with a missing eye. Prosthetics go beyond film sets and actors. Blessed to have such gratifying experiences with our work.”

Character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza designs artificial silicon eye.

Apparently, The hardest part of making an eye prosthetic is the iris, as it needs to resemble a person’s healthy eye as much as possible. This is hard to achieve with conventional methods of manufacturing.

Preetisheel has earlier designed characters for various actors in very prominent Bollywood as well as Southern films. Apart from being the No. 1 hair, makeup and prosthetic character designer in Bollywood, she runs India’s premier outfit Da Makeup Lab along with her partner husband Mark D’Souza. The lab’s building is a landmark in the posh Versova locality of Mumbai.

Character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza.

After Preetisheel’s recent gesture of creating the prosthetic eye, executives at Da Makeup Lab are also mulling over the idea of venturing into medical prosthetics in the near future.

It can be noted here that Preetisheel’s was recently featured by international website USA Newshour among the top best 5 makeup and prosthetic designers in the world, along with Hollywood stalwarts such as Kazu Hiro, Christian Tinsley, Jordu Schell and Neill Gorton. Also, she was the only woman featured in this top list of world-famous makeup and prosthetic designers.

Pratyusha Chhajer leads Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati Zeal as founder president

Entrepreneur Pratyusha Chhajer has been appointed as the founder president (charter president) of Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati Zeal. Earlier, she was the member of Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati for 14 years, where she encouraged youth, especially women to become club members.

She has now finally taken a lead in starting a new club. Through the Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati Zeal, her aim is to percolate a sense of community and responsibility amongst the society, more so in gen next.

Pratyusha is a Melvin Jones Fellow, along with her husband Prerak and children Samyan and Shonaya, which itself is a unique distinction. She is also a COVID Warrior, having supported Corona Relief Activities, and personally contributing Rs. 1 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Corona Relief Fund of Gujarat.

Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati Zeal is affiliated with Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati, the largest Lions Club of the world with over 2,000 members. Apart from that, Lions Clubs International is one of the largest NGOs spanning across 210 countries with 1.4 million members.

For the record, Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati is involved in health and education activities such as school projects, dialysis centers, blood banks and eye hospitals. Under the leadership of Pratyusha Chhajer, Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati Zeal will focus on grooming school children in academics, social, cultural and sports activities.

The club will also undertake various projects for fellowship among members, apart from activities involving leadership training, business networking and service projects, like awareness about childhood cancer, diabetes, environment, vision care and hunger.

Earlier, Pratyusha has also been recognized for her exemplary organizational work for fashion shows conducted by the International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) and Khadi Gram Udyog.

She is the founder and director of SS Ballet Academy, and also a renowned fashion designer with her own label Samyan Shonaya Haute Couture; businesses under the brand name of Samyan Shonaya Group of Companies.

Gujarat’s SS Ballet Academy receives international CID certification

The Ahmedabad-based SS Ballet Academy (SSBA) in Gujarat, has recently received certification from the internationally prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID); an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (popularly known as UNESCO).

The International Dance Council CID, Paris, is the official umbrella organization for all forms of dance in all countries of the world. It is a non-governmental organization founded in 1973 within the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where it is based. Its members are the most prominent federations, associations, schools, companies and individuals in over 170 countries.

“The SSBA is extremely proud to be certified by CID as it holds international value,” says Pratyusha Chhajer, the founder and director of SS Ballet Academy. “We at SSBA strive to successfully establish relationships with ballet schools and academies around the world and take India step by step forward on the international stage. This certification by The International Dance Council CID, Paris, goes a long way in boosting our confidence,” she adds.

The entrepreneur founded SSBA three years ago, to develop and train professional dancers. Starting operations in Indore, it became the first academy to introduce ballet to Central India. The academy has now moved its headquarters to Ahmedabad, an economic hub with great cultural diversity in the vibrant state of Gujarat.

Certification courses and classes are available for students who wish to excel in ballet dance. In view of the pandemic, classes are currently being conducted online on Zoom and Google Classroom. However, the academy is gearing up to resume offline certification courses soon.

Named after Pratyusha’s children Samyan and Shonaya, SSBA follows the Vaganova curriculum method of ballet. It is a style of ballet training created by Russian ballerina Agrippina Vaganova, who became a highly renowned ballet teacher and has authored the book Basic Principles of Classical Ballet.

After Indore and Ahmedabad, SSBA plans to expand its branches to Mumbai, Delhi and other cities across the country.