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Scaling Up Traditions? Embracing Modernity or Retaining Traditionality - Hanisha

In this new era of life, modernity has knocked on each door of life and it has begun to catch up with Indian dance forms as well. While some dancers have embraced this with open arms and are catering to the younger generations through dance, some have chosen to remain orthodox and stick to roots. This last decade has seen a huge rise in semi-classical and fusion choreographies. New age dancers believe this to not only be the way to provide Indian classical dance a global reach but also a method to reach the younger generation and encourage them to pursue classical dance. But the traditionalists argue that the dance forms are being adulterated by the inclusion of “modernity”. They believe that the authenticity of our pristine cultures has begun to decline. There has also been increased depiction of classical dances in movies. Which often are observed to not retain the essence of classical dance. Even when some movies try to retain the originality of dance forms they often fall short. Though for a normal eye everything might seem perfect alright, dancers often recognize the duplicity. While some believe this usage increases interest in dance for the newer generation, some others believe that artists learning and performing dance in such short notices sends out the wrong message. Apart from this a lot of films also use classical dance movements and make a mockery out of them which often is not tolerated by all dancers. The line between embracing modernism and retaining authenticity is a very fine one. For dance to thrive in our society it sometimes is important to embrace modernity and cater to the new generation as it is ultimately them who must take this culture forward. But it is equally important to remember our roots. One must personally draw boundaries. Modernity is important as long as it does not threaten to wipe out our culture. This international dance day as the future of Indian classical dance let us draw our own lines and try to maintain the balance between modernity and traditionality.

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