One is a kathak exponent with a career spanning over three decades, the other a celebrated Kuchipudi danseuses at her own right. Two different personalities but one thing binds them - their passion for dance. This World Dance Day, Shovana Narayan and Shallu Jindal, share the story of their first ever dance performance on stage.
I was barely four years old and the stubborn child I was, I wanted to take part in a dance competition where all my other friends were taking part. My mother and grand-aunts were aghast for I was but a novice! But who can withstand the pressure of a little stubborn child? So, my name was entered.
A day before the final competition, all contestants were asked to appear for the stage rehearsal. Seeing confident participants all around, I turned into jelly deep inside. No amount of coaxing could melt my rooted immobile figure. Soon the words of my mother that 'all this nautanki of mine was not needed and that my dance would be stopped' wafted into my ears'. I immediately agreed to dance. The next day, dressed in my khadi churidar and kurta with a Gandhi 'topi', how I danced and danced! I do not remember anything but DANCE! And I won the first prize!
My first Kuchipudi recital - my ranga pravesham - is my fondest memory in dance which I performed at Delhi. When I danced, I felt connected to God as I take dance as meditation, puja and a way to connect to the Almighty. It has made me focused, hard-working, humble and taught me never-say-die-attitude in life. I feel blessed to be a dancer in this lifetime.