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Fusion to get more views should be avoided: Pracheeti Dange

Pracheeti Dange, Odissi dancer and artiste with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations talks about her journey from Pune to London and more

art and culture Updated: Jun 30, 2018 20:34 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pracheeti Dange,Indian Council for Cultural Relations,Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra
Pracheeti Dange, Odissi dancer and artiste with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations talks about her journey from Pune to London and more(HTPHOTO)

Puneite Pracheeti Dange’s earliest memories of dance and music include watching the national programmes on the arts that Doordarshan would telecast. These shows featured stalwarts of Indian classical arts, and even though she was too young to understand the nuances, she was always engrossed and in awe of the art.

“I would say that dance, specifically Odissi, chose me. When my mother was pregnant with me, she saw Guruji (Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra) on TV and had a strong urge to see him perform live. My parents saw that I showed great interest in dance, and so when I was younger, they enrolled me into classes for Bharatanatyam,” says Pracheeti.

But it seems Odissi was her calling. When her mother learnt that Kathak and Odissi exponent Yogini Gandhi was imparting lessons in Odissi, she enrolled Pracheeti for the class, and there has been no looking back ever since. “In fact, it was the year I joined that Guruji visited Pune to conduct an Odissi workshop on my birthday. I spent my entire birthday in his presence. I was also fortunate to see him perform that year for the first time.”

Pracheeti believes that the advent of social media and dance reality shows has had a huge impact on the dance scene. She feels that these platforms have increased awareness and made it easier to connect with the fraternity. She says, “A lot of artistes, especially the younger dancers, are aware of the reach of such tools and are using it to their advantage. While the demand and appreciation for traditional repertoire always remains, there seems to be an increasing trend to try and innovate. This has resulted in quite a few interesting concepts and productions that are being showcased in India in the recent years. The number of platforms or avenues for dancers has also increased noticeably in over the past few years.”

However, she feels that the dance industry isn’t an organised sector with no authoritative definition of a framework and that it sometimes works against the art form. She says, “With the current fusion and viral videos trend, there seems to be a growing interest in creating something new or mixing traditional and modern elements, be it music, space or the costume. I feel innovation for the sake of it or doing fusion to get more views or likes should be avoided. As artistes, we need to realise and take more seriously the responsibility of propagating such a rich heritage of classical arts that we have inherited.”

First Published: Jun 30, 2018 20:33 IST