It is not surprising to see so many Schools of Indian Classical Dances in Sydney celebrate in October 2019.
It marks their coming of age. Quite unintended, we see the energies of the Schools who operate as complete separate entities, coming together this year. Is there a message here for all of us to see ?
Coming of age in Indian Classical Dance forms is no mean fete. It means a coming of age in training both for the teacher and the student, the School’s establishment, maturity in artistic development and for a few even beholding a lifetime of joy, discovering through dance, movement and choreography a way of life that possibly is a coming of mental, physical and spiritual balance.
Not all are going to become professional dancers. But for many Indians, this is a way of staying in touch with their traditions and keeping their cultural stories alive. Are they giving the stories a current relevance ? Perhaps they do, perhaps they dont, but what I see is that they try.
For the immense amount of resources, time and effort put out by the teachers and the families of their students to see these Schools survive and thrive for the last ten plus many more years has been an eye opening journey for me. But are we being noticed by any of the major /minor multicultural art bodies of the country ? To what extent are we able to enter major festivals ? and if not, what stops us ?
Perhaps some do get into these festivals – not more than 5 minutes, the organisors may say ! In 5 minutes they mourn ! do these organisations know or care that it takes 3 hours to beat the traffic in Sydney, get dressed and perform in dark rooms with horrible lighting ? The cost, effort and value placed to present these art forms in the open market is totally unsustainable.
Perhaps, these are questions that need to be answered by all the teachers, their students and parents, council members, politicians and more. But who has time to bell the cat when there isn’t enough time in the day to compose, practice, choreograph, teach, develop, market, pay the bills and finally perform at social and community ventures …
…. the fact that they still do it, keeps me going back !
Breaking the mould however with a fusion of classical and bollywood, Swastik School of Indian Classical Dance, makes it mark as a commercial success taking it to a commercial site, the BMW Showroom … !!
Raising awareness for a esteemed Sydney charity Vision 2020, Samskriti School of Dance, headed by Hamsa Venkat, presents the Epic story of Shakuntala…
Nrityagriha School of Dance braves its way into its thirtieth year Anniversary Show, with more than 30 students, graduated through the years, Padma Balakumar says “the teaching part is easy … ” the rest need I say more …
Silambam Sydney , under the leadership of a professional dancer, Aruna Gandhi, comes of age and celebrates its first production after ten years of establishment, Krishnaarpanam. Originally presented by the veteran Sudharani Raghupathy in India, it will be interesting to see it reproduced with all whistles and bells in Sydney.