Friday 11 October 2019

Start-up nurturing nascent talents - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Looking first, at an analogy from the business world, entrepreneurship has not been lacking among the young generation, but investment was. It is only recently that the millennial enterprises have sprouted "start-ups" and have been able to secure "venture funds" from what are named "angel investors". As is common in the business market, some start-ups have fallen by the wayside, some have just managed to keep their nose above troubled waters, and yet a few have done startlingly well.

In the rarefied atmosphere of performing arts, young dancers are known to be equally lacking monetary encouragement for their art. Both in the Marghazi season in Chennai or round the year in Kolkata, classical dancers are made to pay from their own pocket for their performance -- for a few precious minutes -- on the public platform. This seems quite reminiscent of the above model of the erstwhile business situation, except that here angel investors are yet to spring up.

Nritya Navin 2019 presented on September 23 and 24 by Nipun Nrityalaya, was the culmination of sponsorship efforts of a very refreshing "angel" in the form of Manojit Saha, Nipun's director and a Bharatanatyam dancer of repute --- being groomed by guru CV Chandrasekhar over last 10 years. Nipun took the initiative of selecting, after serial elimination, 15 young dance talents finally from five different classical styles and agreeing to have all their expenses covered including travel and stay, besides offering them an honorarium for the eventual performance. Nipun called for direct applications - supported by bio-data, solo performance video, guru's recommendation and press clippings if any -- through social media. Nipun's motto was: first, to stop the youngsters' "pay-and-perform" culture and, secondly, to promote art and young talented dancers by suitably paying them for their efforts.

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  1. Respected Padmashree Dr.Utpal K Banarjee,

    I am very happy to see this review regarding Nritya Navin - 2019 at Kolkata, Dedicated to young dancers in our country, Which is wonderfully written by you. Your detailing of this Nritya Navin dance festival very nice. Your support, blessings, encouraging words always inspire me a lot for doing this kind of work, which is strongly against pay & perform act. Our initiative to promote art & the young talented artists in our country. I am really very thankful to you Sir.

    Regards - Monojit Saha.
    Secretary of Nipun Nrityalaya &
    Director of Nritya Navin Dance Festival.
    Contact No : +91 9830410789/ +91 8910964610.
    E mail -

  2. It is quite a treat to read an article by Sri Utpal K. Banerjee. He sets up an ambiance for reading on the subjects he writes. As Sri Banerjee applauded Mojojit Saha's efforts, we the appreciators of Dance do also feel the same that Monojit has done a very good thing and could be an eye opener for many. But, it pains to see that now a days that most of the performing Bharatanatyam Artistes do not like to mention the name of their Original Gurus. Instead they feel proud to mention the names of the Gurus under whom they have done workshops in a later stage of their growing up as performing artiste. It is a very alarming trend. It appears that they are ashamed to acknowledge the names of their parents (in this case Gurus) just because he or she does not have a national or international fame.

    Somnath G. Kutty