About Asawari

Importance of Indian classical dance  and its social reflection

We all know that dance is a strong medium of expression; it is not a mere physical exercise but a deep levelled  satisfaction to mind and soul. We have heard from our Gurus and senior dancers that the pleasure one derives, from  dance is divine.

Dance is an audio-visual art.Flexibility,stretching,body control,balance,use of static and kinetic energy are important elements in dance. At times dance is rigorous and at times it is graceful. Because of all these elements, dance becomes a very good physical exercise. Just like physical part of dance, dance also gives a good exercise to the brain. An intelligent dancer understands the importance of elements such as space,rhythm,sound and uses them wisely. Space is like a canvas for the dancer on which the dancer creates beautiful shapes and designs through his/her dance movements. 

A dancer  develops a good "ear" to understand sound and its influence on dance -overall. A dancer is extremely sensitive towards rhythm and sound and therefore it is reflected on his/her overall dance. Expressing is also extremely important in dance. A good dancer has full control on his/her expressing skills.Dancer,by his/her expressing skills creates a different world on the stage which makes dance an extremely attractive art. All these aspects make  dance very popular art in the society.

Social reflection

In our society, there is a growing admiration-liking for the dance art. Generally speaking  women from age 6 to 60 (there are great dance gurus who are way above 60 and yet performing and working in the dance field) are learning,performing,studying the art form. Since I am a Kathak performer, I  am giving here some few examples related with kathak field-

A woman aged 62 starts  learning kathak and her husband(senior to her age) accompanies her to the kathak class.
Growing tendency of women giving exams of kathak after marriage and after having children.
Women around age of 40 performing on stage and their in-laws and husband watching and appreciating their "family member".
In the school age itself girls are completing diploma level in kathak.
Women are having 2 simultaneous careers such as their respective field e.g. IT and dance.
Pursuing any art form gives us a strength to fight with the sadness which occurs from any personal tragedy or an ailment and dance is no exception to it. I myself has experienced it and I have met few women who have experienced the same.

All these examples make us understand that  dance is not only becoming a respectful part of our society but also  it is an  enriching experience for all of us. I would like to mention here that Kathak is not originated in Maharashtra but in last 60-70 years, it has flourished here. The outlook of the marathi society towards Kathak has positively changed and the given examples are just the reflection of that.Ofcourse some people may feel that there is still room for improvement  regarding the society's attitude towards the dance form but definitely we have come a long way as a society and this is definitely an achievement . This achievement wouldn't have been possible without the untiring efforts  and contribution of  Great Gurus,Kathak exponents and scholars.

In today's scenario T.V, internet, social media also has a role in popularising the art form and in creating more awareness of it. More and more students are appearing for the exams of classical dance. The increased number of dance festivals,programmes,competitions,seminars,workshops show the popularity of dance, not just in performers or participants but in the viewers as well.

More and more women are realising that dance is helping them in their physical well being and also helping them in having peaceful mind. Not just Indian women but women from outside India are learning Indian classical dance and many of them also are trying to pursue it in a systematic and disciplined way. They understand the importance of pursuing such art in their lives.

Overall we can say that women are realising that besides the advantage of being helpful in  physical and mental well being, classical dance also benefits women by  the other advantages such as scope for creativity, scope for expressing oneself, stage confidence  etc and probably that is why they are learning  or engaging themselves in the dance field .