Aarcia dancing with Khan Brothers at Gooik 2013

© Sacha

Aaricia Ponnet

Aaricia is a dancer and teacher who specializes in Bollywood, Kalbeliya & Kathak dance. She is a part of Gori KaDance & joins Maya Sapera with the Khan Brothers and the production 'Women Speak'

Aaricia Ponnet (°1992) has a year-long experience in dance and Indian culture. She was four when she first set foot on Indian grounds, where she would travel around the country every next year with her family and get fully immersed in its culture. Her first dancing steps were on Bollywood music and she often participated in dance celebrations of Indian friends during her travels. At the age of ten she enrolled in dance classes and the year after she started learning Belgian folk dances, which she keeps on practicing today.

After a cultural exchange on a school in Rajasthan (India), she got attracted by Rajasthani folk dances. In 2005 she met Maya Sapera and has not stopped dancing under her guidance ever since. From her she learned the Kalbeliya style, Bollywood dance and the South-Indian classical dance style Bharatanatyam. She also took classes with the Sapera dancers in Rajasthan and has been training Kathak with guru Shila Mehta since the last 5 years. Apart from that she also received tuition in Bharatanatyam (Shijith Nambiar, Parvathy Menon, Dance India summer school (Milapfest) 2010 & 2011) and explores other styles like ballet (Hiroshi Wakamatsu, Nicole Kohler), oriental (Aida) and contemporary dance (Siri Clinckspoor, Nicole Kohler). 

Aaricia started performing Bollywood and Kalbeliya at the age of fifteen and since 2009 she performs with the dance group Masala Dance. In 2013 she started dancing for the Maya Sapera Dance Company (MSDC), under wich she performs with Gori KaDance and the Gori KaDance Orchestra (Bollywood), and with the Khan Brothers (Kalbeliya, Kathak). She appeared a.o. as a background and co-animator of Maya Sapera at the Dance Club on the festival Couleur Cafe (editions of 2012, 2013, 2014), on screen in the semifinals of Belgium's Got Talent (VTM) in the dance chorus of Yamuna (December 2013), danced at various events of Europalia India (2013, 2014), in the production 'Holi Couleur' at Couleur Café 2014 and at the dance festival 'Brussel Danst!' with Gori KaDance. In November 2014 she received first price at the 8th Contest Bellydancer of the World, dancing a Rajasthani duet and as a member of Gori KaDance - both led and choreographed by Maya.

Education

Aaricia loves dancing and shares this love with others. While already giving workshops on several occasions before for the MSDC and Danshuis De Ingang, she fully started giving workshops Bollywood with Femma in 2010 and gave folk dance classes with Mathieu Vernimmen in 2012. She gives weekly classes of Bollywood in De Ingang (Gent) and Indian dance classes for kids at a local school in Gent.

Aaricia studied Indian Languages and Cultures (UGent), with a minor in Linguistics. She studied in India from September 2012 till February 2013, during which she took classes Kathak at her university, Kalbeliya with Khatu Sapera in Jodhpur and Bharatanatyam with Parvathy Menon in Chennai.In 2014 she enrolled in the full-time contemporary dance course given by Nicole Kohler (De Ingang).

She is currently studying Kathak with guru smt. Shila Mehta at Nupur Zankar Academy of Performing Arts & Research Centre (Mumbai), with a scholarship granted by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. 

 

Photographs taken by Isabel Torrekens, Photo Life & Aaricia Ponnet.