On international dance day, the temptation of putting down my thoughts of how dance has stood the test of time and have remained to be an essential part of our lives was hard to resist. Dance in India, have seen a progressive growth. Given what dance connoted a decade or two back, has a little resemblance of what it has evolved to be in present day.
Having peaked to a whole new different level, this art form was not considered anything but serious except for as a hobby and barely as a profession until very recently. Thanks to the dance reality shows, more and more people have started relating to dance as a profession or even as a preferable mode of exercise. These shows further showcase that dance can be performed beyond the obvious and dependable ways. The various styles and techniques are shown on TV- hip hop, freestyle, contemporary and salsa have gotten to create a demand amongst today’s urbane audience.
However, is has been observed that the western dance forms have overtaken the classical and folk dances in India, especially amongst the youth. So much so that, the classical dancers and the fraternity still find difficult to get the right audience to showcase its art in its very own country of origin.
The choreography is perceived as a somewhat cool and a lucrative profession now and demand for dance classes have seen a new high. The demand gave rise to nukkad choreographers – a bunch of enterprising youth whose love and sincerity about their passion is not being kept limited to space constraints even in a city like Mumbai. Be it a small terrace, or a room or even a society hall, etc. the ones who can’t afford the lavish dance studio doesn’t shy away from catering to the demand.
Often arising from humble beginning and faced with obvious operational issues (the least that ones I face are late fees, bargaining over fees, issues with landlord, just to name a few), what patrons do not understand is that they are paying for quality service and the fact that their contributions does cater to the daily expenses for betterment as well as to initiate future developments. And if you are classical male dancer then their is another lame experience that most classical male dancers go through is being stereotyped as homosexual. While I do not understand what sexual preference must do with a professional choice, I do wish that people would become more aware as well as sensitive of what their surroundings and not judge people randomly.
While concluding, I would like to highlight that though dance is being accepted as a next cool thing to do, there’s still a long way go. More people needs to accept and be proud of dance as a profession. Dancers should be given their due credit and dance association should step forward to strengthen the community, in general, to ensure stability as well as for better recognition of talent.
Authored by Karan Jodhani – Kathak and Indian Folk Dancer and is founder of Happiness Dance Fit™, Folk Innovations ™ and Shaadi Swagger ®