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Aswini Jha is a pageant and fashion choreographer. He has choreographed around 300 beauty pageants and fashion shows so far. He is also the winner of ‘National Youth Talent Award 2077’ in choreography and art presented by Nepal Government, Ministry of Youth and Sports. Likewise, he has won several awards like Best Pageant Choreographer at Nepal Fashion and Music Award and Best Choreographer at National entertainment Award among others. He is the founder member of Beauty Pageant Association of Nepal (BPAN), an umbrella organization for individuals and companies working in the field of beauty pageants in Nepal. Choreographer Jha is appointed as the advisor of Fashion Designers Council of Nepal.
Some of the shows he choreographed are Miss Teen Kathmandu, Miss Teen, Mrs Nepal Universe, Nepal super model, etc. My City talked to Jha about the challenges, inspiration and future endeavors. Excerpts:
What is pageant and fashion choreography and what are you doing these days ?
Fashion choreography is the presentation of creation by a dress designer, hair stylist and makeup artist in the best manner with the combination of music and lighting in the model’s catwalk. Along with this, another job of a fashion choreographer is to train the model to walk on the ramp in an appealing way.
As in pageant choreography, my job is to train the contestants on their presentation skills, interview skills, train them about stage walking, modeling basics, poise, and selection of their wardrobe in different rounds during the pageant. These days, I am busy training and grooming the contestants virtually for Mrs Nepal Glam 2021. My forthcoming shows are Mrs Nepal World 2021, Miss & Mrs Universal 2021, Mrs Nepal Grand 2021, Nepal's Super Model Contest 2021.
What inspired you to be in this field?
Choreography is a field of creativity. Being a creative person since my childhood, I love to work on new concepts on model's walks, poses, presentations and translate my imagination into reality on the stage or ramp. Choreographer needs patience to teach others and know what looks good to a wider audience. It is equally important to have effective communication skills that are needed to make sure that your directions are coming across clearly to people you are teaching. I think all these qualities that I possess took me deep into this field.
If you were not in this field, what would you have done?
I would probably have been an actor because I stepped into choreography through modelling and modelling is also considered to be the gateway into acting. But my interest towards art and creativity took me where I am today.
What are the challenges in this field and how do you overcome it?
In the context of Nepal, when I started my career in choreography there were only a few pageants and shows organized annually. Despite uncertainty about the future, I took the risk to stay in it because I believed fashion and beauty pageantry would boom very soon. Today we have more than 500 beauty pageants organized annually all over Nepal.
Moreover, once you are well established you will have to be updated with the latest news and activities in the fashion world and get updated about the pageantry around the world. New models and contestants ranging from the age group of 3 to 50 years may not have the knowledge about fashion and pageant jobs. You will have to teach according to the level of their understanding. You need to be innovative and creative with your work while choreographing every new assignment. And the best way to overcome the challenges is to believe in yourself. Your hard work, patience and keeping yourself abreast with the latest updates are key to be successful in this field.
What is the current scenario of the pageantry & fashion sector in Nepal and where do we stand internationally?
Compared to the past few decades, we can see a lot of progress in this field. Barely two dozen beauty pageants and fashion shows were held annually a decade ago. But today (before the Covid-19 pandemic) more than 500 pageants are held across the country. This gives you an idea how much our field has progressed over the years. At the same time, it is natural to feel a little sad when there is not much progress in terms of quality. These days the numbers of beauty pageants have increased much more than the numbers of fashion shows but out of these, some of our talented fashion models, choreographers and fashion designers are not only limited in Nepal but they are also finding work in the international market and are emerging as tough competitors. That's why I see a bright future for people pursuing a career in this field.
How has Covid-19 affected this field?
Until now, we had been conducting beauty pageants and fashion shows in the presence of spectators. It has been very difficult to conduct such events because of the government's restrictions since the last 13 months as the organization of such events can potentially increase the rate of transmission of Covid-19. Pageant and fashion choreographers, pageant directors, hall staff, fashion designers, make-up artists, stage, light-sound service providers, voting service providers, security service providers, hotels, and many others associated with this field are greatly affected by the pandemic. Many have lost their jobs. The daily wage laborers and those solely dependent in this field are in big trouble.
How do you find beauty pageants and modelling beneficial for a newcomer?
I see modelling and beauty pageants like a gateway to the glamour industry. There are many jobs and professions related to the glamour industry and one can choose any out of these depending on their interest. Once you participate in a beauty pageant or modelling contest you will have some knowledge about different aspects, scopes and types of modelling, make-up, fashion designing, photography as well as these platform also help the fresher’s in building up relations with different professionals, media agency, advertising agency and sponsors which will benefit them in upcoming days.
What is the meaning of life for you?
Life is a combination of highs and lows, the bitter and sweet experiences, experienced step by step in which every moment of happiness or sorrow gives us a new experience. These experiences make us a mature person and prepare us for the next surprises in the days ahead. I think life is an opportunity where we can work for the benefit of the society, nation and mankind so that our next generation will know us through the life we have lived. Every moment of life should be lived and enjoyed to the fullest. We can have wonderful days as much as we can make our life artistic, creative and valuable.
- by Sara Pahari
- by Samiksha Shrestha
- by Samiksha Shrestha
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