Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dance to Feel Liberated...

Art in any form is always a pleasure to experience. Be it a painting, a sculpture, music, poetry, or dance. And, to make your weekend a pleasurable experience, we decided to begin it with an artistic note. This feature is all about introducing you to an artist, who has not just re-defined the classical art form - Kathak, but has also made it a beautiful and creative mean of expressing some great thought that are all about women!
Meet Delhi-based Kathak dancer Aditi Mangaldas, who has not just mesmerized the Indian audience with her wonderfully graceful performances, but also has inspired the internationally audience. We interacted with her recently to know more about her journey, and how the classical Kathak is getting re-defined, along with a mode of expressing some women-related issues...
"Dance is a medium of communication, I feel a sense of liberation," says Aditi Mangaldas... (Pic Courtesy:
"I have been into this dance form for quite a long time now. My dance form is 80 percent classical, and some of the forms are contemporary. But, overall the essence of my dance is classical. But, somehow I feel that in India, we don't have a great tradition of dance forms. Also, there is no such thing that one dance form is better than other. You see, dance is very symbolic, it may present the state of the society, or even the inner conflicts of a human being. So, if we talk about Kathak and it's contemporary form, I feel that it has already adapted a lot with time, and adapted beautifully. Dance is a medium of communication, and that's one of the reasons that Indian dance forms like Bharatnayam, Manipuri, they all have the subject of spirituality somewhere, as all we are trying to do is communicate with that almighty," she says.
Trained under Kumidini Lakhia, who is the pioneer in contemporary kathak in Aditi's words, and Birju Maharaj, Mangaldas further adds that while the present state of women in the society has been talked about via her dance forms a decade back, she strongly feels that women issues should be talked about frequently. " My next event in the capital is all about discovering the inner spaces. I realize the complexity of living in the present society, and feel that there is a complex interplay of emotions within us. Probably that's the reason I have named it 'Within'." We also wanted to know about the international awareness of this classical Indian dance form, to which look what she revealed. " We still have a long way to go, as we are still not in the mainstream dance festivals globally. We are performing only in the India centric events globally," she told candidly.
It still may be a long way to the bigger achievement, Mangaldas is confident that art is one thing that can make women feel liberated instantly. " I do feel the sense of liberation as dance is a very intangible thing delivered through tangible body. I feel that your work must influence people, it must bring some basic social change at least. I was very lucky to have family who gave me complete freedom, but I know it's not the case with every woman, globally," she sums. 

But, we are quite sure that women today can find their way out... all they need is Inspiration!!

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