By and large, when reviewing a dance performance, on principle, I make no mention of the age or physical appearance of a dancer as I see her on stage. Generally, this is a part of journalistic ethics; personally age factor has never appealed to my mind unless I find a tender artiste emoting a rather tough abhinaya with spontaneous ease. The second factor, the physical appearance, of course, this I curb myself from making a mention of it, more so when it is far from being complimentary to the artiste in question. But I must own up, that bloated figures on stage, young or old, are a disturbing sight to the audience, leave alone a critic. Not to stir a controversy, I would like to briefly explain that it is not mandatory that a dancer needs to have a gym-toned body. On the other hand, I don’t quite agree that if one is an exquisite, excellent dancer, well her figure, no matter how uncouth, shouldn’t worry us. Well, a weighty body is not light on the feet to that extent, and the nritta has to be scaled down. Then comes the TINA (there is no alternative) factor where you make do with matured, excellent abhinaya and minimal footwork or at times no footwork at all. This critic has been a witness to both and much more. Can a dance be complete without nritta complimenting abhinaya and vice-versa in a balance of both?
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