Some interesting news I read recently
- Dancing for education – Hema’s dance will secure many families
When Bollywood’s yesteryear diva, Hema Malini performs Bharatnatyam at Navlakhi Ground in the city on April 20, over 50 middle class families will be smiling ear to ear. For, the future of their children, including their education and other expenditure, will be secured. In a unique initiative, a city [Vadodara]-based group has adopted families that have lost their earning member either due to death or injury.
Right from monthly groceries and essential items to fees for schools, [Vallabh Youth Organization] VYO looks after every need of such families. “We had started VYO to organize programmes and bring all community members together. It was only last year that we decided to help needy families that struggle to make their ends meet,” said Chirag Shah, president of VYO.
The organisation, founded in 1987, seeks to bring together all Bharatanatyam dancers, teachers, accompanying musicians, technicians, writers, costume designers, make-up artistes, and rasikas, under a common forum to promote cooperation and better understanding among the fraternity.
She [Chitra Vishweswaran] was in the city to inaugurate a regional centre of the Association of Bharatanatyam Artists of India (ABHAI) “to pass on the art to the MTV generation who see no security in the craft.”
Chitra said that though she wanted the youngsters to realise that the art of Bharatanatyam should be studied holistically, it was very difficult to get full time, dedicated students as they saw no future in the craft and hence even the parents did not encourage them in an era of cut-throat competition and self-imposed rat race.
Money was not that important a factor when she took to dance, but today “we are all used to consumerism and desires.”
The book, ‘Master of Arts – A Life in Dance’, depicts the dance journey of Dhananjayan and his better half Shanta, six other male Bharatanatyam dancers and Tulsi’s own experiences as a dancer.
“Male dancers having predominant feminine influence in their gestures is all but a myth. This perception has developed due to movies. Even recent Viswaroopam portrayed the dancer Kamal Haasan in that light. But that is not true at all. My guru Dhananjayan was nothing like that. He performed like a man. The young dancers I have talked to with regard to this book also said that it is a misconception the society has,” said Tulsi.
Ask her how long it took to put the book together and she answers, “Forty years.” Because it was that long ago that she first entered the cool air of a thatched cottage and discovered a world beyond time.