And they go West...
From dance to music, India has a lot to offer when it comes to fine arts. The Indian classical music and dance have been widely appreciated all over the world too.
But with Western culture making a visible impact on the country’s youth, is the current generation moving more towards Western music and dance? Metrolife finds out.
A majority of youngsters are taking up Western dance or music classes while a few intend to learn Indian classical art forms. The youngsters have their own reasons for this.
For instance when it comes to dance, some say the flexibility in Western dance attracts them and that Indian dance requires a lot of technique and is rigid. Shivani Menon, a student, says that she developed an interest in Western dance after watching Bollywood dances. “Indian classical dance involves a lot of movements and hand gestures which I’m not comfortable with. I prefer doing something freestyle as I can experiment with it any time. And anybody can learn Western dance,” she reasons.
Sophia, a choreographer, says she wanted to pursue something offbeat as a child, and thus got into Western dance. “During my school days, Indian classical dance was learnt by almost everyone. People prefer Western dance because of its flexibility.”
Many youngsters are learning Western music as well. Neecia Majolly, a concert pianist and founder-trustee of Majolly Music Trust, says, “Both the music forms are entirely different. For instance, Indian music is melodically based while Western music is harmonically based. People like Western music because they can feel the chords and harmony in it.”
Despite the number of Indian classical shows conducted every now and then, people still opt for Western forms of music and dance. Usha Rk, an art consultant, says one cannot deny the fact that the Western art forms have made a huge impact on today’s youth.
She opines that the reality dance shows on television have influenced the young generation to learn Western dance. “Participants of such shows perform Indian classical dance only to get selected. Once they make it through, they only perform Western dance,” she observes. “Indian classical music and dance are only telecast on one channel in the country — Doordarshan,” she adds.
Sapna Jhanwer, a professional and an Indian classical dancer, agrees. “Popular entertainment shows speak more about Western art forms than Indian. Another reason is that Indian classical dances use Sanskrit as a language most of the time, which people hardly understand anymore. But in Western dance, any language can be used and people can understand,” she explains.
“Today’s youth thinks learning classical art is passé and less happening. My younger sister and brother often tell me not to be old fashioned when I perform an Indian classical dance,” adds Sapna. However, she feels Indian classical dance is more expressive and relaxing than Western. “It is more disciplined and provides a good workout for the body,” she quips.