My personal vision
I firmly believe that a thorough classical dance training provides a strong foundation which allows the contemporary artist who thinks deeply, to present work that not only informs and entertains, but also enlightens.
Within the parameters of the classical I have experienced sublime spiritual bliss; this has allowed me to share my artistic impulses and improvisations with my audience.
The most precious commodity in the life of an artiste, who wishes to create with conviction and communicate truthfully with his audience, is time. Time provides the artiste with the space in which to complete the amazing journey towards self-realization and artistic evolution. Time dedicated to the art form, allows the dancer to engage with a process which constantly expands technique while nourishing the artistic spirit; keeping the artist satisfied and motivated.
Following the rigorous technical training (for which there is absolutely no shortcut) the technique and artist merge as one. It is this unity which sparks the magic during a performance; it creates the tangible sense of spontaneity and immediacy between artist and rasika. After many years of riyaz (devoted practice) one is blessed with the humbling opportunity of approaching perfection. Riyaz becomes that unquenchable thirst that keeps the artist searching through his Sadhana, during this lifetime and beyond.
As a Kathakar I wish to share that my experience of Kathak is far more than just a dance form; it has shaped the way I look at the world around me, it has made me a student of life and also a student for life. Complete surrender to the art that I cherish has blessed me and I relish every single day of my existence.
What is dance if not the ultimate prayer to the Divine within?
My approach to creativity
I am very privileged to have been gifted with a deep affinity for the scriptures and the rich pantheon of the Deities coupled with the ancient art of storytelling known as Kathavachan. For Kathavachan to be effectively communicated I make judicious use of hasta mudras, charis, mandalas, sthankas etc. as prescribed in Abhinay Darpana by Nandikeshwar; this has impacted greatly on my personal style and approach to Abhinaya in Kathak.
I also, in my dancing, celebrate the ‘complexities and play’ of rhythm which dominate Kathak today. I believe that striking a balance between the abstract and the interpretative is what constitutes the essence of ‘classical’.
My creative works are specific to a personal inspiration, an idea or experience I have had and they reflect my perceptions of that particular phase of my journey. My choreographed pieces speak to me as a unique gem would speak to a collector of jewels; they are linked with a thread which is my passion for dance; my ‘necklace of jewels’ is not yet complete and I know there are many more exciting revelations waiting to be discovered in the future.
In a country where Indian culture is largely dominated and sometimes defined by what we see in Bollywood movies, I recognize my purpose to preserve and propagate the purity of Shastriya Sangeet in South Africa and to enlighten those ready to receive this gyan. My institute, Kala Darshan, has proved to be the ideal vehicle to accomplish this and I feel blessed to share this space with students and parents who identify with my vision.