Director of Thakurpukur Chidananda Dance Academy and Bharatanatyam exponent Prerna Gangopadhyay analyses the future of the classical dance form and its viability as a career option.
Growing up there are certain things we always wonder about, what to become professionally. We always dream of becoming doctors, engineers, or lawyers, but seldom have we thought about becoming professional artists. The reason behind this has many explanations. One of the important ones is a lack of awareness. We are not aware of the practical implementation of Art forms. Indian classical dance as a full-time profession is highly demanding. In an interview, Bharatanatyam exponent and director of Thakurpukur Chidananda Dance Academy Smt. Prerna Gangopadhyay shares her experience of choosing classical dance as a career. She said, “I myself never thought to be a dancer. Learning dance was more like an extra-curricular activity. But with time I realised the beauty in it. Dance is just not a subject, it’s an emotion… In fact, dance has helped me become a better person.
Prerna Gangopadhyay further added, “for me, I think Bharatanatyam as a language which I used to communicate with the audience. Now comes the million-dollar question: is my profession stable enough to have a secure future? I would say, yes. Dance is just not a practical subject, it requires a theoretical aspect as well. Teaching Bharatanatyam is extremely rewarding, both financially and emotionally. I get to meet various people from all the strata of society. It helps me to connect with the ancient tradition of my country. When you learn an art form, you automatically become disciplined.” She also said, “Youngsters will get interested in being a professional classical dancer only if we have good teachers who can train, mentor, and inspire. The rest will fall in place automatically.”