This virtual lockdown talent hunt is raising funds for India's suffering migrant workers
Dance choreographer Jeffery Vardon was leaving a grocery store, when he spotted two migrant workers. Like countless others left jobless due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were caked in dirt having not bathed in several days and starving. A quick exchange revealed that these 20-something boys, now penniless, were going home on foot (Chennai to Bihar, 1,875.7 km). "I gave them INR 500 which is what I had on me at the time," Jeffery recalls. But he went home that night, rattled, and unable to sleep.
This was the beginning of the idea behind his 'virtual' Lockdown Talent Hunt. Open to solo singers and dancers in both amateur and professional categories - the contest organised under the Jeffery Vardon Modern Dance Academy and features celebrity judges Andrea Jeremiah and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, as well as Jeffery himself.
Hoping to raise a couple of lakhs with entry fees (INR 150), the proceeds will go entirely toward the welfare of migrant labourers. Here is how you can contribute.
"We are requesting participants to put up an audition video on their social media handles and simply tag @jefferyvardon_MDA (Instagram) and The Hot Shoe Dance Company (Facebook)." Those shortlisted to the final round will be contacted and will need to put up an additional one minute video of their performance for the judges to pick winners. "The prize money of INR 3,000 for each of the six categories has been put together by friends and well-wishers and will not touch the money raised for the cause," he clarifies.
With entries coming in from Indian cities as well as other parts of the world like the UK and Australia, some generous donors have gone over and above the basic registration cost to do their bit and contribute.
The last date for entries is midnight on June 5, results will be announced on June 10. More details on the social media page.
Photo courtesy: Bruce Mars on Unsplash