By Usha Wagle Gautam
Expat Tanka Thapa has been announced as Non-Resident Nepalese Dancing Star in the most anticipated reality show competition during its grand finale organised at Shalimar Palace recently. Sanju Rai and Darbandra Kumar Yadav were declared first and second runners-up respectively.
As a winner, Thapa bagged a cash prize worth QR4,000, and six months of free dancing class. Likewise, Rai and Yadav were awarded with QR2,000 and QR1,200 respectively, and six months of free music training for each.
The reality show was organised by Rhythm Art Center (RAC) and sponsored by Pigeon Engineering Project, Basanta Films, Tarai Madhes Democratic Front-Qatar (TMDF), and community leaders Maksud Alam, Uttam Gurung and Rupesh Yadav. The reality show started in September last year with 19 participants.
The grand finale session was chaired by RAC president Ishwor Tiwari, and witnessed the amazing performances by Doha-based Nepalese artistes along with competing participants.
Senior artiste Parbati Rai and music video director Prakash Bhatta, the judges of the dancing reality show, also performed during the show. Likewise, artistes Prashna Shakya, Birendra Shrestha, Rym K Lama, Damodar Neupane, Youbraj Chhantyal and Reet Kumar Shrestha showcased their performances.
Doha-based popular singer Devika KC performed a song from her recent studio album. Stand-up comedian Suresh BC caricatured Nepalese Prime Minister K P Oli.
Winner Tanka Thapa has been working as a security guard with G Force Securities for eight months. During his final performance, he became a lady with high heel sandals, and told a story of her how she came to Qatar after the devastating earthquake of April 25 last year caused an existential crisis for her family.
Praising his performance, Judge Parbati Rai said she couldn’t even believe him telling a heart-rending tale of a lady in such a scintillating line of attack. Another judge Prakash Bhatta said, “Thapa’s performance was sort of out of box.”
Thapa has a degree in arts, and participated in every dance programme and competition during his college days. Thapa couldn’t continue with his education due to his family’s poor economic status. Thapa, who is in his early 20s, moved to Qatar to pay his family’s bills.
Thapa says he will work in Qatar for four-five years, and will continue with his education in Kathmandu. Thapa is also a member of Nepalese Cultural Center (NCC) — an umbrella organisation of Qatar-based Nepalese artists.
First runners-up Sanju Rai arrived in Qatar just five months ago. She works in Hamad International Airport. She performed a dance on a Nepalese motion picture soundtrack.
Judge Prakash Bhatta said she was not copying dance steps from the movie, and she was creating innovative and fresh steps by herself. Back in Nepal, Rai ran her own beauty parlour and worked in one dance club. She said she moved to Qatar due to political stalemate and frequent strikes in her home country.
Judge Parbati Rai performed twice during the programme. She has earlier performed in Qatar more than 20 times. Qatar is totally different to her than other countries. She says she is not tired of frequently coming to the country to perform because she feels non-resident community loves artistes. Rai is one of the most popular dancer-actress who has played in over 3,000 music videos.
Likewise, Judge Prakash Bhatta performed first time in Qatar during the programme. He has directed several music videos.
According to the organisers, half of the total profit made by the show will be donated to orphaned and street children of Nepal through Mission Education Center (MEC). The programme was supported by UNI dance group, Tamu Society Qatar, Thakuri Help Network, Nepalese Cultural Center (NCC) and SB Films. RAC director Gajendra Shrestha was the co-ordinator of the programme.
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