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Hajo youth scripts success story with Kathak

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 April 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 23: It is hard to take art as a profession. Individuals who want to pursue art have the only option to remain dedicated. Unlike other art forms, dancing is tougher to pursue as a career option.

“It is tough to be a Kathak dancer and make a living out of it. Despite having a reputation, Kathak dance is hard to be made a profession because of its low income,” views Hemanta Kalita, an A-grade Kathak artiste of Delhi Doodarshan Kendra, empanelled from Indian Council for Cultural Research (ICCR).

Kalita, on his own efforts, has set up Nritayangan, a Kathak dance institution with two centres at Noida and one in Delhi way back in 2002. Nrityangan also has a centre in Guwahati. Over 130 students have currently been enrolled in Noida and Delhi centres.

“I am living my father’s dream to become a Kathak artiste. I still remember the days when he was out of money and couldn’t pay my fees of dance classes. He was a school headmaster. Kathak has its origin from UP and Baras,” Kalita said.

Kalita viewed that Kathak training in Assam is not up to date. He said that due to lack of communication among the gurus the students have been suffering. “There’s lack of communication among the gurus here. They stay in the fear of losing students to one another. Training schools in Assam also lack adequate theory system. Theory is important as well as practical,” Kalita said.

Nrityangan, Delhi also has students from Germany, Brazil, Afghanistan, Chi, and Korea. Kalita has training packages for them in his institute.

“Foreign girls above 16 years of age come to our institute. They often come for a 7-day package and they are charged Rs 1,000 for an hour and Rs 5,000 for an audio track. They would make more money from the audio track in their countries,” he said.

Commenting that taking Kathak dancing as profession is tough to pursue, Kalita said that such profession can be pursued along with another due to less income.

Kalita hails from Hazo in Kamrup district. He is a globe-trotter, visiting 32 countries to hold Kathak workshops. He is a gold medalist in Kathak from Gauhati University and a science graduate of Arya Vidyapeeth. Before starting his own venture, Kalita taught in a number of institutes as a guest faculty.

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