Dancers are being innovative in trying to create all kinds of performing platforms for their art. Patronage systems are such that today there are more dancers than platforms available. Look at Balasaraswati’s time or 20 years later still, in Yamini Krishnamurthy’s era. In each form, there were a handful of dancers only. Say 5 in Bala amma’s or Shambhu Maharaj’s times; 10 in Yamini’s or Uma Sharma’s; 20 in Valli’s and now 200! Every bio-data boasts of awards, rewards, tours and titles. It seems it has never been so good for the dance and dancers. India is dancing!
And celebrating special occasions are dancers: Jigyasa Giri of Chennai takes her Kathak to Delhi, to perform for a cause while Ranjana Gauhar of Delhi brings artistes from all over India to showcase in her Saare Jahan Se Acha festival. A Kalari initiative next to Adishakti in Pondicherry premieres its work called BHU and to BHU (Benaras Hindu University) comes ace Kathak talent from Mauritius, Dr. Putanjani "Vandana" Purgus, to admit her niece in this famed university. In Baroda, Harish Gangani is all set to retire after decades of serving Baroda MSU Dance Dept., which his father late Guru Pt. Sundarlal Gangani first came to when my father engaged gharana gurus to teach at university level - Tanjorkar for BN and Sundarlal ji for Kathak, Saxena sahib for table… And in Chennai, the season is agog with thematic events.
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