Dance, they say, is a reflection of our culture and our heritage. And that’s exactly what the city’s colleges and students aim to promote. While there is no dearth of opportunities to learn and perform modern dance forms in the city, it is the traditional performing arts – like Yakshagana and Dollu Kunitha – in which young people are expressing interest. . showcase their talent and, at the same time, create an audience that appreciates the country’s classical and folk art forms.

Colleges provide support; send students to perform off campus

Mandara Devraj, a 21-year-old student from Jyoti Nivas College, says it’s the need of the hour to introduce students to traditional dance and performing art forms. “I am a dancer of Bharatanatyam and a performer of Yakshagana. Bharatanatyam performances are regularly held during university events. But since Yakshagana is generally performed by men, few girls engage in it. However, in our college, girls are encouraged to pursue it. We also played Dollu Kunitha on campus and are now working to get some original dollus, ”Mandara said, adding that more and more students were showing interest in learning this form of dance.

In addition to the usual on-campus performances during festivals, colleges also make it easier for their students to perform off campus. “We have cultural exchange programs, where I visited Baylor University in Texas, USA, during my freshman year at university. There we taught and performed Bollywood and classical dance and, in return, learned ballet, ”says Raksha VS, a 19-year-old performing arts student in Christ (considered a college) and dancer. of Bharatanatyam. “We also have regular workshops, where we have professional dancers as guest teachers, who come to teach us every year,” she adds.

Northeastern folk dance forms find takers in city colleges

Meanwhile, the folk dance forms of northeast India are also gaining popularity among students. “We have a huge community of students from this region. Festivals are organized by the Northeast and Tibetan Forums on campus, where students showcase their cultural side, especially their varied dance forms such as Zomi dance, bamboo dance, Thabal Chongba and more, ” explains Ermin Jamjoyson Chiru, a student of St. Joseph College (Autonomous). On top of that, students also perform off campus. “Because we have a large Northeastern community in the city, there were times when we played off campus at community organized events and at various college festivals,” says Ermin.

“Creating a grateful audience is also important”

According to Sahana Das, associate professor in the communications department at Mount Carmel College, there is a need to create an audience that appreciates our classical and folk dance forms. “We have been running the ‘Jugalbandi Series’ since 2016, where dancers come to perform on stage. The best part of this is that we have two dancers performing in tandem. It is also a challenge for them to understand their own performance and to learn to work with another dancer, who practices a completely different form, while maintaining their individuality throughout the performance, ”she says, adding: “There are two motives behind this. series – the first being to present dance in its true form. We want to introduce students to the correct techniques through this series. Second, we want them to enjoy these classical and folk dance forms, ”says Sahana.

Likewise, Prabin Villareesh, HOD, Performing Art at Christ (considered a university), says the college is all about classical and folk dance forms. “We have a dance event called Nritha every year, where over 300 students perform all kinds of dance forms including classical, folk, contemporary and more. Each dance show has a huge set and the right props. We also organize Bhasha Utsav organized by the language department. At this event, students perform traditional and folk dances of their state, which allows students to familiarize themselves with the culture of other states through these dance forms, ”explains Prabin.