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Tidbits Of Entertainment With These Beautiful Dance Performances

Dance performances of Melvin Louis, Himanshu Dulani, Team Naach, Akansha Vora and Ishpreet Dang bring moments of 60 seconds entertainment.

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Dance Covers

Viewing life in tidbits is the trend of the Millenials. Today, entertainment comes in small packets of 60-second videos, bringing moments of laughter and joy. The latest trend of music and dance covers top the list of micro-entertaining performances.

Today, we bring you some shots of entertainment, that created a buzz this week, in form of dance performances by Melvin Louis, Himanshu Dulani, Team Naach, Akansha Vora and Ishpreet Dang.

Credits: Instagram (Himanshu_Dulani)
Credits: Instagram (TeamNaach)
Credits: Instagram (akansha.vora)
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Dance

Lively Dance Compilation: International Dance Day

This International Dance Day, let’s explore different dancers and dance forms across India and groove to them.

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International Dance Day, Dance, Moves, Indian, O Re Piya, Kathak, Traditional Dance, Folk Dance,

Dance is a language that brings people together regardless of their varying cultural backgrounds. With its many forms and variations, this form of art is highly expressive and holds the power to convey the stories and emotions of the dancer without conveying them in words. This International Dance Day, let’s look at a few Indian dancers to celebrate their art form.

Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya Dance Cover by Nivi and Ishanvi, Laasya

Niveditha and Ishanvi Hegde are a mom-and-daughter dancing duo with moves that are a sight to behold. They’ve done dance covers of multiple trendy songs that you can learn for your next sangeet performance or simply watch for an upbeat mood. In this dance cover of the latest song, Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya by Asees Kaur, Raghav featuring Nelly, and Tanishk Bagchi, the duo shows off their expressive and playful moves.

Credits: Laasya

Malhar Jam Dance Cover

Devi Nair and Rachna Jayachandran are classical Kathak dancers from Kerala. They portray the traditional and classical dance styles and values of Indian culture. This dance cover of Malhar Jam by Coke Studio India is a self-choreographed dance. Their mesmerising moves and expressions make it perfect for any classical dance lover.

Credits: Kaushiki

Cheraw Dance at Anthurium Festival 2013

India is the world’s largest and most diverse nation, making it extremely rich in cultures. While many cultures have travelled borders and reached worldwide audiences, many remain exotic, even to Indians, due to minority sections in the country. One such dance is the Cheraw dance. The Cheraw dance is the exotic traditional mass bamboo folk dance of Mizoram. This dance is performed at the Anthurium Festival every year, which the state government of Mizoram organises to encourage Anthurium cultivation.

Credits: WildFilmsIndia

Garba Fusion by Kathak Rockers

With the growing modernisation and experimentalism, many dance forms also modernise themselves for a more relatable touch. This is popularly known as a fusion dance. In this dance cover by Kathak Rockers, Sushil Patil’s choreography is traditional Gujrati Garba with a Bollywood touch and Kathak. You can get some moves from this fantastic dance group for your next Garba night and show them to your friends and family.

Credits: Kumar Sharma

Barso Re Dance Cover by Nritya Troops Nepal

Barso Re is a famous Bollywood song by A. R. Rahman, Shreya Ghoshal, and Uday Mazumdar from the movie Guru. It is a perfect song for those monsoon days, and what makes it even better is this dance cover by the Nepalese dance group Nritya Troops Nepal. Their moves are energetic and enthusiastic, with a slight touch of Indian classical dances. The dance and their colourful outfits also share a remarkable resemblance with Bollywood dancers.

Credits: Nritya Troops Nepal

O Re Piya Dance Cover by Alisa Gurova

Self-choreographed dance by Alisa Gurova, this dance cover of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s O Re Piya is a beautiful sight to please anyone. Alisa, in her dance, beautifully incorporates belly dance in tribal Indian dance form, making it a mesmerising fusion for the audience. It also shows her creativity, vision, and versatility as a dancer and a choreographer. What adds more to the eye-pleasing value is Katya Rybka’s majestic location and directionfor this performance of O Re Piya. 

Credits: Alisa Gurova

Kashmir Folk Dance in Sydney

Kashmir is located in the northernmost part of India and is often considered to be paradise on earth due to the breathtaking beauty of its luscious valleys, lakes, and landscapes. Recently, during the visit of Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, the community reception in Sydney, Australia presented a beautiful dance performance by Kashmiris. It is a Kashmiri folk dance showcasing their traditions and cultures.

Credits: KIW TV

Dalkhai, The Folk Dance of Odisha by Gunjan

Dalkhai is the traditional folk dance of Odisha. This dance performance is from Odia Parba Nuakhai or Navakhai, an agricultural festival. It is mainly celebrated in Western Odisha and Southern Chhattisgarh to welcome the new crops and rice of the season. This dance by Gunjan Dance Academy perfectly represents traditional Odisha and its culture.

Credits: Gunjan Dance Academy
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Dance

Male Indian Classical Dancers: Time To Break The Stigma

Putting an end to the ridicule & humiliation here is our list of male Indian classical dancers who are ready to break the stigma around them.

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Male, classical, dancers, Indian, stigma

Classical dance is always associated with femininity and women. Whenever male dancers get on stage to do their classical pieces they are ridiculed to no end. Putting an end to this ridicule and humiliation here is our list of male Indian classical dancers who are ready to break the stigma around male Indian classical dancers and show the world how they too can be graceful and still be a man.

Kathak Rockers by Kumar Sharma

Combining yin and yang energy and exuding elegance with each step, Kumar Sharma’s performance is bound to leave you in awe. The simple costume helps the viewers to focus more on his expressions and mudras. Never missing a beat, Kumar Sharma’s YouTube page is a must-view page for any Kathak lovers. This male Indian classical dancer breaks the stigma against male classical dancers by not shying away from letting himself shine on stage.

Credits: YouTube (Kumar Sharma)

Ardhanarishvara Ashtakam by Vinay Tiwari

Vinay Tiwari perfectly executed a Bharatnatyam number that relies heavily on slow movements. Broadcasted on DD Bharati this dance captured the attention of millions because of Tiwari’s perfectly timed expressions. The costumes and the makeup add a layer of drama to the performance. This male Indian classical dancer breaks the stigma against male classical dancers by not being afraid to slow down and take his time to highlight each move at a time rather than rushing through it.

Credits: YouTube (Vinay Tiwari’ Shail Shakti)

Ami Je Tomar by Rohit Gijare

Who said Manjulika can be the only one to rock a pair of ghungroos and sway to “Ami Je Tomar”? Many female dancers recreated this iconic dance number from the film Bhool Bhooliya so it was about time a male Indian classical dancer gave his take on the same. And Rohit Gijare does exactly that. Never missing a beat or an expression he manages to keep the viewer’s attention till the last minute. This male Indian classical dancer breaks the stigma against male classical dancers by not being afraid to give his take on the classical Bollywood number.

Credits: YouTube (Rohit Gijare)

Bharatnatyam Jathi by Ananda Natanam

A cheerful classical Bharatnatyam performance is all you need on a gloomy day to lift your spirits. And Ananda Natanam delivers exactly that. The bubbly steps accompanied by his cute smile are bound to make even non-dancers sway with joy. The costume is kept simple to ensure the audience can focus on the dancer’s movements and relish the pure joy that Natanam exudes with each step. This male Indian classical dancer breaks the stigma against male classical dancers by truly enjoying his art form.

Credits: YouTube (Ananda Natanam)

Tryambakam by Sutra Foundation

The Tryambakam, (Odissi) is an invocatory homage to Siva, the triple-eyed Lord, Nourisher and Liberator of souls from the bondage of pull of opposites. This masterpiece by the Sutra Foundation brings to light the pure joy of dancing that was experienced by the Lord of Dance, Shiva who is often depicted as half man and half woman. The dancers beautifully capture the Lord’s ever-famous Tandav dance which is bound to energise any wandering soul with its perfect rhythmic movements and passion. These male Indian classical dancers break the stigma against male classical dancers by invoking the divine and transcending societal gender norms with their performance.

Credits: YouTube (Sutra Foundation)

Do check out these dancers to truly appreciate the essence of their performance.

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Confluentia of Talent

Footprints of Expression: A Dance Compilation

Exploring Elegance through Four Semi-Classical Dance Performances : Through the Graceful Blend of Tradition and Innovation

sherrylsanjaypal@gmail.com'

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Dance, Classical, Traditional, Performances, Innovation

Enter into a world of dance, where tradition meets innovation, semi-classical and classical performances are always the beacon of unique niche. A blend of grace and vivacity of contemporary expressions, these performances captivate audiences with their seamless moves and styles. Let us take a journey through the graceful blend of tradition and innovation.

Tere Naina by Dance Choreography : 

Tere Naina Choreography unfolds on stage like a delicate poem, each movement a brushstroke on the canvas of emotion. With her impeccable footwork and expressive gestures, Patel effortlessly navigates the realms of love and vivacity. The performance is set to the beautiful song of “Tere Naina” from My Name Is Khan, fused with the traditional moves by our artist which has the audience grooving long after the performance is over.

Credits: Youtube ( TWINKLING TANU )

Gulabi Sharara 

Gulabi Sharara is a vibrant performance of music and movement, blending traditional moves with a contemporary flair. The peppy number adds to the rhythmic precision of the footwork to the fluidity of his gestures. The mastery of the craft was evident throughout the performance. With each sequence, they have transported the audience on a journey through time and tradition, merging it with contemporary magic.

Credits: YouTube ( Geeta Bagdwal )

Ranjan Gawala Mahaganpati – Dance cover

Ranjan Gawala Mahaganpati – Dance cover, challenged traditional boundaries, offering a fresh perspective on classical dance. Through innovative choreography and evocative storytelling, perspective on classical dance. She breathes life into old classical dances, infusing them with modern relevance. Her seamless integration of traditional moves and contemporary elements sparked conversations and ignited imaginations reminding us that art knows no bounds.

Credits: YouTube ( Kashish Shaikh)

Apsara Ali remix dance choreography – Poonam and Priyanka Dance

Apsara Ali remix dance choreography by Poonam and Priyanka was a celebration of joy, unity and the universal language of dance. Through synchronized movements and shared expressions Poonam and Priyanka brought transition and fusion in harmony. The dynamic performance captivated audiences and left us uplifted and groovy. 

Credits : Youtube ( Poonam & Priyanka Dance )

After The Curtain Call 

Innovation thrives alongside tradition, creating a rich tapestry of expression and creativity. The performances showcased the boundless talent and passion of their creators, leaving an indelible impression on all those who witnessed them. As we applaud the artists for their dedication and vision, let us continue to support and celebrate the transformative power of dance in all its forms.

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Dance

Phenomenal Performances by Young Semi Classical Dancers

Wondering what a blend of modern and classical dance would look like? Here’s presenting some phenomenal semi classical dance performances

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semi classical, dance, mehak tejwani, Shivani Sharma,Susmita Chakraborthy

Dance is the voice of the soul and the language of the heart. Be it modern or classical, dance has always intrigued a curiosity and fascination for people. In the GenZ era with new trends popping up daily, semi-classical dance is something that carved its niche way beyond time. Here’s presenting some amazing dancers with a passion to mix and match to create wonders. Watching them you are sure to shout ‘Taal se Taal Mila’  to your buddy.

Susmita Chakraborthy 

Born with her left limb shorter than the right one, Susmita Chakraborthy is changing mindsets with her determination and will power. She is a dancer and choreographer who aces every move with perfection with her prosthetic leg. The grace she depicts in her recent performance is beyond words. Performing a semi classical solo on the soulful song ‘Ishq Karu’ from the movie ‘Sita Raman’, Susmita puts forth an epitome of elegance. Her flawless movements and synchronization are what makes her a perfect dancer. Surely, Susmita can leave Sita and Ram wondering about the unexplored beauty of the song her performance discovered. Find her on Instagram.

Credits: YouTube (Susmita Chakraborthy)

Richa Tiwari 

Hailing from Lucknow, the city that personifies ‘nazakat’, Richa Tiwari is a choreographer with a style of her own. Being a semi-classical dancer, Richa loves to present a blend of modern and classical forms like Bharatnatyam and Kathak. Her performance on the gem song ‘Ek dil hai ek jaan hai’ by Shivam Pathak from the 2018 movie Padmaavat is worth an applause. The smoothness in her moves puts up a perfect show of magnificence. Richa justified her choice of choreographing her dance on the song from the Ranvir Singh and Deepika Paducone starrer. Follow Richa’s Beats and Taal here.

Credits: YouTube (Beats and Taal)

Shivani Sharma 

Shivani is a Delhi based dancer and choreographer whose soul loves to groove on her favourite music. Recently, Shivani chose Coke Studio Season 9’s hit ‘Afreen Afreen’ to give her soul the perfect kind of satiation it needed. She performed a semi classical dance on the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan song. Her moves brimmed with charm and presented an unparalleled show of adroitness. This performance by Shivani must have surely pleased Nataraja – the Lord of Dance. Come on y’all and dance with Shivi.

Credits: YouTube (Shivani Sharma)

Mehek Tejwani

A dancer and choreographer, Mehek Tejwani loves to perform semi-classical dance. Recently, she choreographed and performed on the song ‘Mast Magan’ from the 2014 film 2 States. Along with her fellow dance enthusiasts, Vaishnavi Kale and Sneha Gujar, Mehek took it on herself to put forth a blend of modern and classical dance. Their movements were poise and elegant. Mehek with her team added a silver thread to the already profound song by Arijit Singh and Chinmayi Sripada. You are sure to fall head over heels for this performance.

Credits: YouTube (Dancehood by Mehek)

Anwesha Bhatia

The teen sensation, Anwesha Bhatia is a renowned contestant of Super Dancer Chapter 3, a reality show that aired in 2018 on Sony Entertainment Television. Anwesha recently presented a semi-classical dance on the Marathi treasured song ‘Apsara Aali’ from the album ‘Natarang’ by Ajay Atul and Bela Shende. Her precise and smooth movements are way beyond her age. Her eyes express her confidence and make her stand apart from the crowd. Anwesha is a spectacular dancer with a dynamic personality. She will amaze you with her passion and skill. 

Credits: YouTube (The Anwesha Bhatia)
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Dance

Kathak Musings With The 75-year-old Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji, the senior most disciple of Pandit Natraj Gopi Krishna Ji, shares his journey with the classical dance of Kathak.

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Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji, Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar, Kathak Legend, Dance, Living Legend

The classical dance form of Kathak is an ancient art form, dating back to the 4th century BC. It reclines on the timelessness of its poise, gratuity to storytelling, discipline and the marvel of music. If Indian culture and its heritage resembles a complex and intricate tapestry, perhaps Kathak, in it, is the dominant streak of the scarlet thread which runs around with its blooming aura – that is how significant Kathak has been, both to the people and the country’s civilisation. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji, the 75-year-old Kathak dancer and teacher, has given 60 years of his life to Kathak. In an exclusive interview with Dr. Ketkar Ji, we sat and listened to his musings on this immersive art form, which has extended itself potentially from its ancient origin to the dynamic contemporary period. 

The Guru-Shishya Parampara: The Beginnings of Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji, born in the year 1948, shared how at the age of fifteen, he stood mesmerised at Pandit Gopi Krishna Maharaj Ji’s Kathak performance at Bedekar Mahavidyalaya. The performance so profusely moved him that he couldn’t help but fall for it. This was the very beginning of Kathak in his life, which would be accompanied by various other art forms of music and dance in his later years. Pandit Natraj Gopi Krishna Ji is a renowned Kathak Dancer. He has choreographed several dances for the Hindi cinemas and performed not just in India but across the world. Dr. Ketkar ji is currently one of his senior most ganda bandhit disciple. As his first and only inspiration, Gopi Krishna’s rangmanch (stage) ignited an eternal spark within him, making him firm in his decision of wanting to learn and perform in the same way as him.

As a teenage boy, he took the first step towards Kathak through the dance teacher at his school. He suggested that he perform a traditional Kathak set on the stage to gauge his potential to embrace the dance and inspire the audience. Performing a Saraswati Vandana, Ketkar ji shared that on the stage, he tried to perform the same way he remembered from Gopi Krishna Ji’s performance. The dance came naturally to Ketkar ji, and the audience echoed loud applauses at his performance. 

After his first stage performance, he sought Pandit Gopi Krishna Maharaj Ji to request him to be his teacher. He visited his house, whereupon, later, he also got introduced to several other gurus, excelling in other art forms. Dr. Rajkumar Ji had the opportunity to meet Pandit Lachhu Maharaj Ji, Kathak dancer of the Lucknow Gharana, who offered him to learn thumri. He mentions how in earlier times, one had to go to different gurus to learn different art forms, unlike today, when usually a single guru is adept in multiple art forms. A few years later, on the advice of his friend, Ketkar ji trained under Pandit Mohanrao Kallianpurkar Ji of the Jaipur Gharana, who was a teacher at National Centre for performing Arts. This way, he was lucky enough to learn from three gurus, excelling in all the three gharanas of Kathak. The conversation with Dr. Ketkar Ji becomes all the more significant since he narrates from a time period from which not many artists live amongst us today. 

Amidst the conversations around his several Gurus, he emphasises on the Guru-Shishya Parampara, a bond, and a relationship thus built which is based on devotion, enlightenment, discipline and respect. The knowledge and skill imparted by the gurus is indispensable and it is of core value. One of the core essence of Guru-Shishya Parampara is Ganda Bandhan.

The extreme left first lady is his Matoshree (mother) Indira Bai Ketkar Ji. She was his support system and someone who always believed in his dreams and this art form.

The Three Gharanas of Kathak: Inspirations and Aspirations 

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji, at the very beginning of the conversation, mentions the ancient divination of classical dances. Derived from the four vedas: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda, classical dances like the Kathak are the oldest forms of art in India. Its elements of rasa (emotions), Laya (rhythm), Abhinaya (acting), and body movements have been carefully detailed in the Natyashastra, which again establishes the divinity of classical dances, and how it’s founded on traditional ancient scriptures which have been followed for generations.

While talking about his inspiration, Ketkar ji dwelled on the learnings from Gopi Krishna Maharaj. Natraj Gopi Krishna Ji was an exponent of the Benares Gharana. Under his tutelage, Dr. Rajkumar ji learnt the Benares Gharana style of Kathak, along with collecting stories and histories of the dance form. Forwarding the history, Ketkar ji addressed the challenges and changes that Kathak faced since the many ages.

Lucknow, as we might not know, was previously known as Lakshmanpur or Lakhanpur, where Kathak was commonly called “Lakshmanpur ka Nritya.” Originally, Kathak, in Lakshmanpur, had its roots in the temples of northern India, therefore, being predominantly a devotional dance form. With the arrival of the Mughals, Kathak was transformed into a dance for entertainment, incorporating elements of the Persian and Islamic cultures like ghazals. The Mandir Parampara was replaced. Daasis/Courtesans performed Thumri and not the shastriya nritya.

There was also a shift from Kathak being now performed as a group dance rather than solo. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji especially emphasises on this intervention in Kathak. He says that one doesn’t simply have to learn the dance steps. The learning and understanding of the different granthas of the Natyashastra is equally essential. This means that other elements like music, the rhythmic vocals, the tabla, along with the presentation, the clothing, are equally important. 

On left is Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji and on the right is Natraj Gopi Krishna Maharaj Ji

So when discussing the Mughal interventions in Kathak, the topic of the western influence on Kathak emerged. With social media and the internet, different cultures have become more visible than before. The fusion and influence of different dances is bound to collaborate and collide with each other. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji’s thoughts on this were simple and direct. He acknowledges that new technology like projectors, smoke machines, lights and sounds, etc. are big innovations and contributions of the west in enhancing the dance production. He also takes his time to appreciate Madame Menaka’s contribution in promoting the Indian classical dance across Europe in the 1930s. Menaka’s troupe performed some 175 shows, which placed India’s cultural heritage in the centre.

However, we should not bear the influences of Western dance on the Indian classical dances. As mentioned before, the parampara, the traditions of the classical dances, distinguish them as pristine, graceful, and authentic. Western influence on Kathak will reduce the dance form to mere entertainment. He mentions how there is a stark difference between the outfits of Western and Indian dances, and while we might not think it crucial, the attire and the get up are integral to the dance performance. Unlike western dances, classical dances are a holistic production, in which music, instruments like the tabla and the pakhawaj, all are tied together in one, and can’t function with the absence of the other. 

Learning all the three styles of Kathak, Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji says that what pushes his enthusiasm for the dance form is the desire to incorporate new elements without tampering the traditional quintessential of the dance form. Some of these ‘new’ performances have been when he performed a ballet in Marathi of the play, Dushyant Shakuntalam, in which he danced in the role of Dushyant. Other performances have been the ‘Asht Nayika’ directed by Lachhu Maharaj Ji, or ‘Radhe Piya Pyaari’ in which Ketkar ji played Krishna alongside Guru Padma didi Sharma, who played Radha.

Guru Sant. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji with his Senior Disciple Mrs. Vaidehi Soman

Present and the Past: Bringing Kathak To The Audience

Over the years, Ketkar ji learned other dance forms as well. Every year, especially on the occasion of 15th August, he teaches and choreographs many dance performances. A lot of these are folk dances and Bollywood dance styles. However, in these choreographies, Ketkar ji incorporates Kathak. The devotional dance performances, like Shiva Vandana or Saraswati Vandana are then brought to the forefront. With such creative inputs and diversity of dance forms introduced on stages, he of course, received humble and positive appraisals from the audience and event holders alike, which motivates him to continue this feat. This way he combines the ancient and the contemporary, and keeps the classics alive. 

Earlier the major focus was mainly on the practical part of dance and he faced many difficulties to learn theories while pursuing his graduation from Akhila Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal. Which is when he was introduced by a friend to Dr Shweni Pandya Ji and Pt. Tirathram Azad Ji who helped him to excel in his theoretical knowledge in Kathak. Further, to spread awareness of theoretical knowledge of Kathak he promoted books written by many known dance gurus to his disciples. Through this he was able to share his voice on Kathak dance – as it is not just practical art form but also entails equal weightage on Shastra Paksha i.e theory.

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji’s Message to the Aspiring Artists

Dr. Rajkumar Ji recalls how in his childhood he always had a penchant for dance. This might have also come from his mother, who used to occasionally sing. His friends and relatives used to mock him for wanting to learn dance. This mockery, of course, suggested that ‘dance’ wasn’t necessarily seen as a worthy profession and its inherent art wasn’t appreciated for. However, years later, the same friends stood astounded in front of him, deeply awed at his stature now. With a doctorate in Kathak from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, his known ones could only bow down at the level of the ‘Shastra Paksh’ he has since learnt and adopted. 

Dr. Ketkar ji himself wasn’t necessarily shown support for pursuing dance and so he understands how difficult it is to survive in a society that would force you to pick practical career paths than the unconventional ones. When asked what would be some tips of advice he’d like to give to the aspiring artists, he first mentioned that one’s approach towards one’s art should be honest. One must understand ‘art’ in its true form. For him, Kathak hasn’t been merely about entertainment. The history and calling of Kathak testifies it to be greater than just a show-and-perform. He specifically asks the aspiring classical dancers to engage in ‘upaasna.’ Understand the art, and art will understand you.

Secondly, if you truly want to pursue your art, then there’s no second option. He believes that if you display passion and honesty for your art form, then you will definitely convince your parents for their support. Lastly, he also appeals to the younger generation to take up the classical arts of India, to study the shastras, the Sanskrit language, and keep the traditional art forms alive.

Credits: YouTube (Nutan Rathore)
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