Sunday 19 May 2019

More praise than dance - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

Some of the emerging formalities of late have made me wonder if strict rules should be insisted upon on how long a master of ceremonies or the compere can speak. A new trend is now being noticed of three or more dancers featured in one performance, each presenting one item! The large part of the evening is spent on formalities with a row of chief guests having courtesies extended to them – and more importantly the master of ceremonies praising them and reciting details of their achievements – including those of the bureaucrat who is called for obvious reasons. Suramya organising Nritya Darpan recently at the Habitat Stein auditorium, had senior dancers with titles to their credit as chief guests, invited to the stage with lengthy introductions. It was as if they were being recommended for the Padmashri, which, on their own merit, most had already earned – and which was the reason they were being called as chief guests, one presumes! So where was the need for these long winding introductions for such well-established dancers? The formalities took up precious time. And I wondered how four dancers slated to perform could be accommodated in the rest of the time. I need not have worried for each had one item to perform!

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