National Dance Week and International Dance Day Featured

03 May 2014 By In Bharatanatyam

The past month has been very busy for the dance world. Many people who were hiding suddenly emerged during National Dance Week and on International Dance Day. As I was scrolling through the news feed on facebook, I was amazed on how many people are currently contributing to the art world. I am so proud to be a part of the world of artists who influence so many people in so many different ways.


With the recent blossoming of several dance schools in the bay area, audiences are torn between two to three shows every weekend. The amount of artistic expression in the bay area is booming and is incredible. When I started learning bharatanatyam, over thirty years ago, there were a few teachers in the area. We would drive for hours to reach a destination to witness a performance. Now, the bay area has mimicked the “season” in Chennai. With so many options, many of the dance and music lovers in Chennai attend the sabha that is closest to them. I believe that there is a similar shift here. Although people are willing to drive a distance to see a program, they choose people they may personally know.

How does every artist get a decent audience when there are so many performances in the area? The artist has to not only creatively present a top-notch performance, but also has to have top-notch public relations strategies. In the past, a simple flier or an ad in the local magazine would gather crowds to a performance. However, now artist have to take the time to personally call people either on the phone or in person. With so much emphasis on public performance, does the artist lose sight of why she or he is dancing in the first place? Is the focus in the wrong place?

I had the pleasure of being the featured soloist in a Gala last year where the artistic director, a Hawaiian dance teacher, was so warm and loving. Her entire goal for the performance was to bring various cultures together. It was a sold out show with an enthusiastic audience. Those that attended were able to see the “best of the best” in the bay area. Her humble nature is a necessary element in the artistic world where everything has become a competition. Just talking to her has made me see the true reason why I am an artist. I am so grateful to such artists who are only interested in spreading the joy of art.

Read 2037 times Last modified on Saturday, 03 May 2014 06:47