Traditional Folk Dance Picks Up Pace in Mumbai

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Folk dances are gaining popularity in Mumbai and denting the dominance of Bollywood. An instructor says simple, repetitive steps let dancers show love, laughter and even anger. One city dweller says the traditional moves help her unwind.

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'Fluid and Graceful Movements'

Kirti Gupta, a student of a South Mumbai college, says folk-dance classes suit her busy schedule.

"I love dancing but at present I don't have the time to learn a classical form. And my parents definitely won't let me dance to Hindi film music. So I started learning folk and now I don't want to leave it. All Indian folk dances have such fluid and graceful movements and I want to learn as many as I can," she says.

Dance instructor Kumari says some of her folk-dance students are TV actors who show up to class after they finish shooting their scenes.

"I teach them simple folk dances, particularly the Rajsthani Radha Krishna dance form from which they learn to show 'shringar ras' (love), 'hasya ras' (laughter) and even 'roudra ras' (anger) with ease," she explains.

Dr. Sulochana Parekh, a gynecologist, is also taking a folk-dance class. "After spending grueling hours at the hospital, sometimes facing difficult deliveries, I love to unwind. I find that dancing to the soul-stirring verses from our folk songs is really pleasant and relaxing. The charming uncluttered easy movements of the dances make me--and some of my colleagues who join in--really happy!"


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This article is adapted from one that was released by the Women's Feature Service. For more articles on women's issues log on to:

Surekha Kadapa-Bose is a Mumbai-based freelance journalist. She writes extensively on women's rights, the environment and films.



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