Friday 16 March 2012

Dancer - choreographer Valmiki Bannerjee: 20th century genius - Ashish Mohan Khokar

Valmiki Bannerjee is one of the senior most dancer-choreographers in Delhi. Hailing from Purva Bangla, now in present Bangladesh, Valmiki had to cover quite a distance, not just spatially, to reach where he is today.

He possesses a quality which is rare in people today – humility. A silent worker, he quietly continues his work in dance and for the welfare of the community. For example, he teaches many children from slum areas and even uses them in his shows. He teaches the local chowkidar of his area - a young boy of sixteen years, who suddenly discovered in himself, an inclination towards dance. All these, he does without any monetary returns, taking pains to visit these children’s parents and persuade them to send their children to him.

Eighty-six years old, he is still agile, mentally and physically. Without any bitterness as to what he did not get from life, he looks towards the future with hopes and aspirations, directing all his energies towards fulfilling his greatest ambition in life – to create harmony through art, to spread the message of peace, fraternity and brotherhood through the medium of dance and thus create a truly a humane society.

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