• karanjodhani
  • September 21, 2020
  • blog

As a dancer, I believe that dance is not only one of the best forms of exercise, but that it is also a complete expression of a range of human feelings and emotions. All you need to do is to let yourself go!

A lot of people who sign up for dance lessons with me- or maybe similarly at your dance classes, if you’re a dancer/ choreographer too- doubt whether they would be able to dance at all, or not. “Ah, I am a bad dancer; can I do this?” “I have two left feet; will I ever dance well?” These are just two of many questions I hear every so often. Sometimes, students just give up, and make the impromptu decision to not come back to class the next day, or the day after that. Aspiring dance students should realise and understand that dance will not come to you in a day, a month, or sometimes, even for years – you need to allow your body to get used to dance and the intricate movements involved.

Dance has evolved such that it has given rise to many dance fitness forms, which are now widespread and incorporated into fitness routines by many gyms and dance studios. While dance is a medium to enjoy and be happy, it also fills one with satisfaction and a sense of pleasure.For instance, whenever I see a stage performance; be it kathak, bharatanatyam, a folk dance or any other dance form, it brings with it a feel-good factor.At the end of the day, it is precisely this, is what the work of a dancer/performer is about, in addition to the artform itself. So, if you’re a dancer and a performer remember that you are doing a great job by spreading happiness and pleasure amongst the audience. Not just for them, you too can derive the same joy as you put on yourghungroos and step out onstage. It’s an entirely different feeling, to put your heart and soul into a performance.I firmly believe that dance transforms you, turns you into an entirely different human. How do you feel when you dance? I would love to hear from you, in the comments below!

Coming to reality shows, they’re as the proverb goes, an entirely different kettle of fish. I am not against reality shows; they in fact serve as a great platform to showcase talent in all forms. However, I do have just one concern i.e. to understand all that passes off as dance! For instance, jumping from a six-foot height to making a human pyramid, tying a rope around your neck and simultaneously jumping off from a height,throwing each other (when you’re dancing with a partner) in an act of balance and trust, and many such stunts are considered to be part of dance performances today. However, to my mind this dilutes the sanctity of the dance itself, not only because you lose the essence of the dance but also because stunts that leave the audience stressed and worried about the dancers’ health and well-being just cannot be a dance! The main aim of art, whether via a dancer or any other performer, is to showcase individual talent. A dancer puts in hours and hours of arduous practice to achieve that level of excellence. All this is done with the primary objective of impressing the audience and giving them pleasure and an unadulterated, aesthetic experience of dance. This is important and needs to be thought about at length.

I often wonder, why can’t we keep the art form sacrosanct and simply take it ahead the way it is! India has some extremely talented ballet groups and dancers, who just by the sheer perfection of their dance and movement, can create that wow factor, and get those much-coveted standing ovations. Many who are reading this may ask me to name even a few such, but I deliberately will not, given that all these dancers and ballet artistes are unique in their own way. Let dance be dance and let us not turn it into a circus. While experimentingand showing innovation and creativity should definitely be encouraged, a choreographer should be able to tread that fine balance between genuine dance moves, and what are merely stunts.At the end of these performances, I would rather not want to be in a position wherein I need to pose some difficult questions to dancers/ dance groups – tell me, where is the dance in this?