Need of Dance
by Gauri Bhobe Sardesai Founder Sanskaar Nrithya Dance Academy
Today’s article is after much thought and inspirations from masters about the need of dance in today’s world.
Why will you go to a classical performance when you have option of going for a movie? Why do you go if you don’t understand dance and its boring and same stories? What will I learn from it, I could get all the information I need from the internet? All these questions are always asked by audience when we see the number of audience diminishing in the Indian classical dance concert.
We need this dance to survive not only as an old age tradition or not just for bearing the torch to the next generations, but also to get audience inside the theatre. Dance has the power to get people united, bring happiness and harmony which is much needed in today’s world. To get an experience of bliss and satisfaction when an audience is in a dance concert, we need to connect with the audience to take them in the journey with us to achieve the supreme consciousness.
It is definitely dancer’s responsibility to be true to the dance, have trust in your art and with the conviction that it is not just imitation but an experience as a character to reach out to the audience, one must perform something unique, different, relatable but keeping it authentic.
Remember this dance form was once performed by Devdasi who worshiped God as a devotee as a wife and performed in the temple courtyards and the spectators were the devotees of the temple, from then and now the dance has changed generations, the temple has changed to a stage. The devotees have changed to audience. Dancers are not Devdasis anymore. But the dance has remained the same. We need to explain to our audience the philosophical meaning to these mythological stories which will be relatable to them keeping today’s generation in mind.
Shiva as Nataraja can be explained as a balance of life, with right hand as miniature drums and left as fire there is a deeper meaning to it, this shows balance of life(drums) and destruction (fire),there has to be a balance in life & death, in midst of all the chaos in the world, we should find in peace, as Nataraja crushes the right leg on the dwarf what is considered as our ignorance or ego then only one gets liberated as his left foot is uplifted to the cosmos.
Vishnu as the 10 incarnations can be explained as the evolution of life on earth from fish from the aquatic world and turtle being amphibious till the evolution of ideal man as Lord Rama, if this is explained in modern science, audiences will be engaged in dance.
Durga the goddess of power and strength who killed the Mahishasura demon shows the first stage of women empowerment.
Through dance we can speak volume. We can cover topics which are relatable to the present generation. Peace, equality, love all can be explained through dance.
Keep classical dance alive would be my concluding words.
Picture: Representative Image.
Gauri Bhobe Sardesai, founder Sanskaar Nrithya Dance Academy in Chandler Arizona.
She is a national scholarship holder from government of India, ICCR receipient,she has been titled as Sringar Mani from Sur Sringar Samsad and a Diploma holder in Natyashastra. She is a performing artist and travels to India and USA to perform in major Dance festivals. She is a senior disciple of Guru Shri Deepak Mazumdar (Mumbai) who is a scholar and renowned choreographer in the field of Dance.
She conducts classes for children age 5 and above as well as adults. she has choreographed many Dance productions like DEVI and GANA OM, etc.
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