In service of Bharatanatyam

Sushmita Jha
Friday, 19 October 2018

Nritya Prerana has completed 35 years and as part of the celebrations, the dance institute is bringing out a calendar this evening

On the occasion of the completion of its 35 years, Nritya Prerana International School of Dance, a city-based dance institute, has come up with a unique idea of launching a calendar that will encompass its journey and its achievements. Called ‘Journey of Nritya Prerana’, the calendar will be released by noted musician and music director Dr Amit Mitra, this evening.  

By bringing out the calendar, Suchitra Date, who started the institute in 1984, hopes to bring together her old and new students and showcase their love for the dance form. The audience can also attend a exhibition on Bharatanatyam, which will help people understand the process of learning the dance form the traditional way. A dance recital by Date’s students is another highlight of the programme. 

“We have completed 35 years this year and through this programme we hope to bring the entire Nritya Prerana family together, so that they can support each other no matter which part of the world they are in. Since the seniors and the juniors don’t know each other very well and are unaware of our past and present work, we thought the calendar will be a great memoir for ourselves. We have done some beautiful work in the past but it hasn’t been documented properly, so we thought of launching a calendar which will cover our journey,” says Date. 

The director of Nritya Prerana informs that the dance institute has done a huge amount of work in all these years, from holding ballets to fundraising and therefore it was slightly challenging to filter the best of our works and display it on the calendar.

“My niece gave me this idea to collect the best of our works and put it together in the form of a calendar. The first thing I did was to form a WhatsApp group of all the senior students. They all contributed their experience, sent us exclusive pictures. With the help of everyone, the process was quite smooth. It was definitely a long process but the result was very satisfying,” adds the 60-year-old Bharatanatyam dancer. 

Date feels that Bharatanatyam doesn’t get the importance it deserves, with people opting for modern dance forms. Says she, “Indian classical dance form is not given the prime priority. People, these days, want to learn modern dance forms, which is fine. I am not against the modern dances, but I think their visibility on TV and internet is more, vis-a-vis Indian classical dances. Our dances are never given the prime slot. You will generally see all these performances really late in the night on the national channel. I feel people really need to be aware of their own culture. We have worked towards the initiative of introducing Indian classical dance in the school curriculum, so that the children learn about it and get to know about the beauty of their own country.” 

Date then goes on to explain the concept of Nritya Sabhas initiated by Nritya Prerana. The sabhas are organised once in every three years. Performers come from all over the world to participate in it and then there’s no participation fee charged for it. Date would ideally like to organise it every year but unfortunately, she fails to get enough sponsors to support the event. “I really wish I could organise Nritya Sabha every year and create a platform for dancers from across the globe to come and join us, but unfortunately not a lot of sponsors show their support. They prefer shows which are dominated by Bollywood. It is extremely sad. But I will keep trying and I shall take our culture ahead as far as I can,” she says.

ST READER SERVICE
Nritya Prerana International School of Dance will launch a calendar celebrating 35 years of its journey. The calendar will be launched by musician and music director Amit Mitra at 88, Mitra Mandal Colony, this evening at 6 pm. It will be followed by a dance programme by the students of Nritya Prerana.

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