Sunday 30 January 2022

Of Ministry, Maharaj, Milena, mutants and more - Dance Matters: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar

Just when we thought that the Chinese torture (Covid and its mutant ninjas) was behind us, collective foolishness caught up with us. Post Diwali-Dusshera gathering effects. Add weddings. Dance shows in halls, visits to malls; New Year parties and holiday makers - all above proved to be a sure recipe for disaster. Whatever sanity was left, left with oncoming elections. Did any party distribute free masks? Why not give it to each attendee? At least on TV, there'd be pretence of proper protocol, which all govts exhort public to follow.

In all this, many cancelled shows at the only platforms giving dancers some earnings like the Neemrana group in North or some sabhas of South, made things worse. Only green light was the Republic Day, where over 500 dancers got a chance to dance. As one of the main judges in South zone that sent over 100 dancers from 5 southern states to dance in Delhi (with a caveat that northern winter was a force most of them had not reckoned with), we set many dancing feet to celebrate the Republic Day. They would enjoy the pomp and show of such a massive parade. And not get lost in the streets or alleys of old Delhi.

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  1. It is a sad time indeed losing so many stalwarts from the Art fraternity. I had met Milena when I had gone to Paris with my student Gayatri. We performed at the Mandapa . The minute we walked in it felt like home, what with the sound of Indian classical dance emanating from there. We also had the opportunity to meet Vidya a French national, student ofM.K. saroja. Who teaches Bharatanatyam over there . It was while we were there that we came to understand that Saroja ji was one of the first artiste to have visited France. Miss you Milena . May your soul rest in peace.

  2. Life doesn't wait for anyone... soul comes and goes but their hardwork their love their passion towards art stays forever... we have been losing many artists in this pandemic time but still we are bound to keep walking keep going...

    I pray to every soul that they all rest in peace and wish everyone to stand and keep spreading their artworks

    Sukanya Nayancy (Nancy Sahu)