I have been dancing since I was 12 yrs old. Lucky enough for me I have always danced for an audience, at small gatherings and family get together’. My siblings, friends, cousins, would put music on and ask me to dance. It was on one of the most popular songs of the movie, Kadalam, ‘Urvashi Urvashi…’ . This was my first dance inspiration and first dance ever.
Gradually I started with performing at school.Once I vividly remember dancing as a hero in an Adivasi dance, others around me were dressed in leaves!Also danced for a piece as an invisible man, another time acted as a chair- prop!
My holidays meant me working at an Agarbatti factory and sometimes visit my grandmother. Close to her house was Vijaya Film Institute and there would be people practicing dance, and I would go and watch them all the time. While on School trips, I would be made to dance on the bus too, all the encouragement always got to me. Later, we shifted to the city, this gave me good opportunity to go and visit dance classes, I would go there daily after school. Since I wasn’t allowed inside, I would stand at the window and watch, make friends with dancers.
Luckily the Dance master saw me and asked me to assist them for a show once, and there it started, I would go and assist the dancers for their shows, even when they didn’t call. Once the dance master used me as a prop, I was asked to stand for 20 seconds on the stage and exit.
It was a break for me, I started with another show, which was a competition at Yelahanka, Snehitara koota, my happiness knew no bounds when we were put in the front row to dance, but only later we realized our hands and faces were to be covered, we couldn’t even see. But we won, we managed the consolation prize.
I soon quit because of certain issues. There were some more to combat,my family wasn’t happy, and so they wouldn’t allow me to join classes or help me monetarily, but my passion took over and I continued, as I was soon offered to dance with other classes. Here, they persuaded me to even dance and practice. Two of my seniors worked with me on my flexibility and warm ups, Raghu and Naveen helped me learn dance sequences and perform them. We did more than 400 stage programmes with them. During these times, it used to get late for us to get back and we would actually end up walking five kilometers back home.
Too many violations and we left as a group for good. Sai Arts International happened soon after that, since they were short of people we would join them f or many collaborations and shows. I remember once wearing elaborate costumes for a Bharatnatyam dance drama collaboration, under this banner. I started conducting classes for them, they had two branches, and would have to travel around 250 kilometers to Dhavangere, twice a week for the same.
At one class, while rehearsing the front flip I lost balance, fell down and got a lower back hair line injury. This was grave, very seriously injured, I couldn’t move my body at all, and hence had to give up dancing for more than a year. I did resume back, as a freelance dancer for stage shows.
Meanwhile Rohan, called me in for auditions with Nritarutya. I was acquainted with their work since I had seen couple of their shows. I got through the auditions and my term with Indian Contemporary dance saw its dawn. Initially worked part time with the team for I was still working with Tata Indicom, my term with them ended and I joined here full time.
It became a new experience for me to live,”different”. I was a Full time dancer. I dance now to my heart’s content, grow and learn every single moment to the fullest. Having done shows and choreographies and traveling with Nritarutya, to Dubai and Pakistan world performing arts festival, it has been an experience to live for ages.
In my family no one likes dancing … they feel there is no life in this.
To me it doesn’t matter if there is a future as bright as others in it, to me when one is dancing, he should be ready for both success and failure, what counts is commitment to the work, change is a persistent factor. Challenges are to be faced any way, you win some and lose some, but doesn’t mean that you don’t pursue them at all! I will and hence I have pursued dance here, for I am committed and shall always be to whatever I do, for now its Dance!