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Crotia-Born Bharatnatyam Danseuse Finds Indian Youngsters Now Focussing on their Physical Expressions

She is trained in classical ballet, contemporary dance, folk dances, flamenco, physical theatre, and yoga, apart from Bharatanatyam

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physical expressions, bharatnatyam
Heading her own dance academy now, she said that learning the Indian classical dance has completed her as a human and as an artist. Flickr

Croatia-born Bharatanatyam danseuse Nikolina Nikoleski, who was encouraged to pursue dance forms and sports from childhood, finds to her delight that more and more Indian youngsters are taking to physical expression.

“India has recently changed and is still going through changes in last 6-8 years where more youngsters are also being exposed and encouraged in physical expression,” Nikoleski, 43, told IANS in an interview.

“I see that as a very positive change and good sign. Being healthy and free in one’s body is the foundation of a good and complete life,” she said.

Speaking about her own early practice, Nikoleski recalled: “I was born and brought up in Croatia where children from a very tender age are exposed and encouraged to pursue various dance forms and sports. Almost every child then takes this hobby very seriously.”

bharatnatyam, physical expressions
She is trained in classical ballet, contemporary dance, folk dances, flamenco, physical theatre, and yoga, apart from Bharatanatyam. Flickr

The hobbies later translate to professional spaces, and make Croatia — with a population of close to 42 lakh people — a country with “world, Olympic and European champions in every sport”, she said. She is trained in classical ballet, contemporary dance, folk dances, flamenco, physical theatre, and yoga, apart from Bharatanatyam.

Nikoleski’s quest to learn multiple dance forms took her from the small European country, where she started with gymnastics at the age of four, to the land of multiple cultures and dance forms — India.

Settled in Delhi since 2005, the professional dancer-teacher has learnt Bharatanatyam in India under the tutelage of gurus Saroja Vaidyanathan, Malavika Sarukkai, as well as Shanta and V.P. Dhananjayan.

Coming from the light-footed ballet tradition, it took dedicated practice for Nikoleski to master this age-old dance form, that requires the performer to do heavy footwork along with gestures and body movements.

physical expressions, bharatnatyam
Coming from the light-footed ballet tradition, it took dedicated practice for Nikoleski to master this age-old dance form, that requires the performer to do heavy footwork along with gestures and body movements. Flickr

“I fell in love with Bharatanatyam because of its amazing holistic art, beautiful expression, use of all body, including facial expressions, ‘mudras’, intricate footwork, state-of-art costume and jewellery, music and ragas.

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“They transform and elevate one’s feelings. Most importantly, it’s storytelling of ancient spiritual scripts, devotional poetry and brilliantly expresses all human yearnings, longings, emotions, and inner battles,” she explained.

Heading her own dance academy now, she said that learning the Indian classical dance has completed her as a human and as an artist. Nikoleski’s students – 73 of them, with ages ranging from four to 70 – performed classical ballet, contemporary and jazz dances at an event here last week. (IANS)

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Dancers in our Country Struggle a Lot: Varun Dhawan

Bollywood Actor Varun Dhawan says India will take over global dance scene in next 10 years

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Varun Dhawan
Bollywood Actor Varun Dhawan feels that India is one of the best countries when it comes to dance. Wikimedia Commons

Actor Varun Dhawan will next be seen in the dance movie “Street Dancer 3D”, and is these days heaping praise on the dancing talent of the country. He claims over the next ten years, India will take over the global dance scene.

“The kind of talent Indian dancers have, I can say proudly we are one of best countries when it comes to dance. In the next 10 years, India is going to take over the dance scene. Dancers in our country struggle a lot because dance never used to be considered as a profession,” said Varun Dhawan, at the launch of the song “Garmi” from “Street Dancer 3D” in Mumbai. He was accompanied by co-actor Nora Fatehi, the film’s director Remo D’Souza and producer Lizelle D’Souza.

He added: “I have spent so much time with dancers — and Remo sir is one of them — because he started as a background dancer. It gets really tough when parents of dancers or society don’t look at dance as a career. They (Parents) feel that their kids are damaging their family’s reputation by dancing because it is not work.

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“Dancers in our country struggle a lot because dance never used to be considered as a profession,” said Varun Dhawan. Wikimedia Commons

I feel that it’s work. They (dancers) travel to train in the morning and then reach their dancing venues. Sometimes they practice on the road, so this film is dedicated to all the dancers because if you can feel the music then anybody can dance.”

“Street Dancer 3D” will clash with the Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari-directed “Panga”, starring Kangana Ranaut, on January 24, about which Varun said: “Ashwiny and (her husband and filmmaker) Nitesh sir are people I have met on a few occasions. Kangana (Ranaut) is someone I have known for a lot of years and I admire her work. I feel both films are very different and we are in 2020, so I think we shouldn’t think about box-office clash. I feel people should watch both the films. This film (‘Street Dancer 3D’) genuinely marks my return to doing films for kids. For the longest time, I did not made a film for kids and when I say kids, there is a kid inside all of us so. So, this film is for all of you. I hope kids and parents will have a good time watching the film.”

“Street Dancer 3D” highlights India-Pakistan issues through the scope of dance and music.

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Talking about the film’s message, Varun said: “Our characters in the film are dancing for India, and (they are) Pakistani immigrants. I think your motive behind being a dancer matters, and it drove me to do the film. Dance is not only for enjoyment but through the medium you can express a lot and you can change lives. In our country, when a kid is born or at birthday parties and at weddings, we dance a lot. I feel we are a very expressive dancing nation.”

“Street Dancer 3d” stars Varun Dhawan with Shraddha Kapoor, Nora Fatehi, and Prabhu Deva. (IANS)