Thursday 20 October 2022

Article - The Covid Conundrum - Ranee Kumar

Of late, classical performing arts are posing a challenge to the practitioners. The up and coming, younger crop of artistes are at crossroads. Passion be in its place but patronage and publicity - one on a pedestal and the other for a price - the young dancer is always at the doorstep of some organisation or promoter, pleading for an opening to prove her/his talent. This was the standard scenario till 2020. After which the entire dance fraternity went into a tizzy as Covid reared its hideous head, dealing a sort of death blow to dance performances. As if in defiance, the 2020s saw n number of online dances from gardens to terrace tops, kitchen to dining rooms, riversides, and sand dunes - everybody started dancing in every possible space and not just that! The recording with all its flaws would be uploaded as private videos or on YouTube and posted. That wasn't all either. The number of 'likes' and comments was the trophy to self-satiation. Not to be left behind were senior dancers holding round-table conferences on whatever issue came under the purview of dance. Teachers/gurus lost out on income Zoomed in with classes, a la academic style with all the pitfalls in tow. The bottomline was actually anxiety crisis of being quarantined indoors especially in a career that spelt out visibility on stage as one's identity. All this sustained for a year. The year that followed, viz., 2021 doused the initial flurry of activity as death tolls mounted due to the Delta wave and online private posts dwindled by the day. A few sustained but this time around the viewers got Covid fatigue!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this very important article Ranee ji. As Kiranmayee rightly put it, dancers often have to knock on a hundred doors to get one program. Add to this the problem of nepotism - those whose gurus are well known will get visibility and those whose gurus prefer a low profile do not even get a response. Noted festivals by senior names will only feature students of their friends , making it exhausting for other dancers to keep getting rejected not because of their lack of credentials or talent, but simply because they are not a known name.

    Hoping for better times in the future.