Scroll down for the video with 9 memories of The Netherlands.
When did you start dancing?
At the age of 5.
You dance Kathak and Odissi, why did you change your dance style?
I have actually been learning both dance styles since the age of 5. Although I was focusing more on Kathak in the beginning, once I discovered Odissi with my Guruji in Orissa, I fell in love with the art form and have been pursuing it more seriously, ever since.
What dance item has special meaning to you and why?
I am personally extremely fond of the Odissi dance item ‘Kunti’, wherein, while narrating the story of Karna’s birth it also brings forth a very deep concept across. Kunti bore Karna before she was married, and yet she was known as a chaste woman, implying that a woman’s chastity isn’t from her body but more from her mind.
Who is your example or inspiration in dance?
Dancing, until a decade back, was not considered a decent profession. Remo D’souza Sir, Terence Sir and Geeta Kapoor Ma’am, have had a huge hand in changing that, making dance a commercially viable profession in India, and have created a beautiful dance fraternity that has always respected and welcomed talent. While they do it more within the framework of Bollywood, they inspire me to try and spread this lovely culture with all the dance forms I practice.
Many people combine a dance career with another career. How is that for you?
To each his own, I do not particularly endorse any idea. I believe whatever works for the individual dancer it’s great. I have had phases where I have tried to get into some other job for more financial stability but currently I only follow my passion, dance.
What is the biggest challenge for you in your dance training.
The challenge is it’s never enough! Dance till you drop is what I do.
What, would you say is your forte in dance?
My forte in dance is clearly abhinaya, or expression. I absolutely adore and appreciate all forms of dance and art, but I believe with my Indian classical dance base and my knowledge of the western dances I am able to strike a good balance and create a lovely fusions between the two.
What is your idea of happiness?
I believe whatever you do from your heart and soul would truly make you happy, from the most mundane thing to the most important thing. So for me, one of the myriad things that makes me happy is dance. Every time I dance, I am elated.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Haha! Frankly, I am not quite sure about that, but I would think I use the terms ‘honestly’, or ‘frankly’ pretty often!
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I do not think a virtue can be overrated. Generosity, gratitude, honesty are all virtues that make this world we live in more beautiful. So I think they are all required.
Which living person do you most admire?
I don’t necessarily admire a person but more their qualities. So it would hard for me to pin point one person.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I would actually want to come as myself. And this time maybe take my talents more seriously!
What is your most treasured possession?
In material terms it would to be my family, but otherwise again it would have to be my passion and talent for art, dance. I believe artistic talents are god’s gift to us, if we don’t take care of it, we will lose it. So it’s very important for an artist to hone their talents, and keep renovating themselves.
Who are your heroes in real life?
All those who are able to sincerely follow their passion and achieve anything in life are heroes in my opinion; because to me it’s the journey that counts and not the goal alone. All us artists, for instance, who work extremely hard towards our art and make great sacrifices sometimes, even to achieve little successes, are all heroes!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Haha! I would like to become more diplomatic!
What is your motto?
It has always been and it will always be so: To live and let live. I believe if people could be more compassionate and not be too quick to judge and just let people be the world would have a lot less to worry about.
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