Step by Step

An amalgamation of grace,rhythm and legacy will be unveiled today as Devika Panse and Kalyani Gokhale,disciples of famous danseuse Prerana Deshpande will present- Aarambh,solo performances of Kathak at the Bal Shikshan ...

Written by Pranav Kulkarni | Published: April 24, 2010 2:28:40 am

The intent behind learning a dance form has to be serious says danseuse Prerana Deshpande whose disciples will be performing in the city today

An amalgamation of grace,rhythm and legacy will be unveiled today as Devika Panse and Kalyani Gokhale,disciples of famous danseuse Prerana Deshpande will present- Aarambh,solo performances of Kathak at the Bal Shikshan Auditorium at Kothrud at 6 pm. The two have been learning Kathak from Deshpande for over five years.

“Kathak is a solo dance form. The emphasis in this concert is more on the solo performances although there will also be a group performance,” says Deshpande further adding,“After a training of about five- six years,there are certain performance related aspects such as- language,voice modulation,mike sense along with the intricacies of the art form such as the energy levels,correction of mistakes done during riyaz and so on that need to be learnt. A stage performance is the beginning of this education.”

While the first performance is considered the most important stepping-stone,what takes one to that level is– riyaz,the most important aspect of Indian classical dance forms. Stressing on the importance of sadhana and sanskar,the key aspects of learning,Deshpande adds,“Any form of art can be learnt with the help of these two elements. While the authority of the guru amalgamated with the commitment of the student is a combination that works the best,there is something called as natural flair and or personality trait of a student,which takes him or her further ahead. The depth of personality always shows in presentation and so does the natural flair. Some have natural instinct for laya and they excel on the basis of their in born talent. On the other hand,a student with no flair can be brought to a reasonably good level by the guru.”

While the identity of any dance form as a performing art cannot be altered,Deshpande feels that there can be different motives as to why one wants to learn Kathak. “It is not important whether the student wants to be a professional or not. The important thing is that there has to be a serious intent behind learning the art. The intent could be any of – understanding the art to be able to appreciate it,wanting to preserve the traditional compositions or to be a professional,” says Deshpande,a disciple of veteran danseuse Rohini Bhate.

Be it the erratic lifestyle or the increasing competition,a number of students these days are unable to meet the dedication that the traditional art forms demand. This has in fact led to many senior teachers demanding a basic understanding of the art form before joining the training. “A guru spends a lot of effort on a student,gets involved in the student’s development and when the student stops learning after a stint,then the effort goes waste which could have benefited some other more committed student. In my opinion,if a guru asks if one has learnt before,he is trying to see the commitment of the student towards the art and ensure that it is not their passing fancy,” says Deshpande.

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