"Success is the best deodorant!"
- Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor
It was a strange month. There was so much excitement and OTT expectations from so many quarters. And mostly outside the world of dance.
A family wedding of my favourite niece had me prepped with all guns firing as a producer of several events. Planning and executing weddings today calls for nuanced management and people skills. Indian women have it as a natural ability and it is mostly undervalued and unappreciated. I have to admit that my many years of producing weekly television shows and later creating and staging my own dance works and festivals over the past 35 years has more than equipped me for the vagaries of human ego, erratic behaviour and substandard vendors.
What was apparent is that we are now a world of voyeurs, consuming almost everything through our hand held gadgets. With the beautiful bride and groom on the elegantly decorated jasmine pandal, the visiting guests from overseas were all glued to the tiny screens on their phones. And so it is in many auditoriums in Chennai when performances occur. Life, as we know it, will be lived only through our gadgets.
Fresh from the exhilaration of the wedding, I ran into a group of businessmen and women who were debating the importance of management experience in manufacturing sectors. When I offered to join the conversation, a younger cousin, head of a large company, glibly remarked, "You don't have ACTUAL management experience, do you?" This was the opening I needed to take off on how many balls we dancers have in the air. Planning, creating, rehearsing, executing, coming in on deadline, budgeting, distribution of the product via touring and calculating cost of the "product" were only some of the issues that could compare to any global CEO pushing his machines towards "zero defect" results. What we performers have to do besides enduring the sulking musicians and members of our sometimes lazy entourage is no mean feat. And the 'product' we have at the end of it disappears into the blackness of the stage and beyond - out of our bodies into a different stratosphere that cannot be measured by ROI (return on investment) or Profit margins. Needless to say, there was dead silence after my passionate monologue.
Young dancers featured in ‘The World of Dance’
At Natarani, Ahmedabad (April 1 – 6, 2015)
Photos: Anahita Sarabhai
Pick of the month
Dancing with democracy by Bilquis
MK Saroja (BN guru): April 7
Parvathy Ravi Ghantasala: Apr 7
Anusha Lall (contemporary): April 14
VP Dhananjayan (BN guru): April 17
Ambika Panicker (Odissi): April 20
Elakshiben Thakore (BN): April 21
Aruna Mohanty (Odissi): April 25
An artiste’s struggle is strictly private but what comes out of it belongs to everybody.
(‘Some greats of Bharatanatyam,’ A.S. Raman, Attendance 2000)
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