Dancers Geeta Ganesan, Smitha Madhav and Sindhuja, are leading from the front to encourage students to learn Dance and Music as it helps them in evolving into a complete artist. Natyahasini speaks to a couple of city dancers to know what it is like learning both.
Sahithi Vasanthada, who is pursuing first year medicine in Ayurveda, says that Music and Dance are different forms of Art, but together they make a wonderful combination. “I would say “What is Dance without Music? And “What is Music When you can’t Dance to it?”. She has been learning dance and music for the last 14 years. Without batting an eye-lid, Sahithi says: “Music indeed helps in Dance as dance requires music and knowing its basics becomes essential. We become stronger in our layam and we can be independent by using our own voice for our dance.” She says more that one understands music, they can express the dance better.
Having a role model like Smitha akka, Sahithi definitely wants to be proficient in both singing and dancing. “Smitha akka is my inspiration and role model to excel in both Dance and Music. The art forms are incomplete without each other, I feel being able to learn both the art forms is truly a blessing,” she says. The Ayurveda student says that she started her journey in Dance and Music almost at the same time. “I used to go to dance classes and learn music from my mother Kumari Vasanthada at home. As my mother is a music teacher, most of my interest and motivation was created while she used to teach other kids. And in dance, my motivation was my mother, she found a talent in me and joined me in classes, which slowly created an interest in me too,” she says.
Practice Essential: Agreeing that practice is very essential to excel in any field, Sahithi spends almost an hour or two for both separately. “I believe that it’s not about how long you practice that day but about how regularly you practice every day. You can practice for a very limited time a very small song or step but when you practice that every day you will surely master it, and that is what is important,” says the budding dancer.
Sahithi gives full credit to her parents for pursuing art forms. “I was very young when I started and at that age, I wouldn’t know what my interests were. It was my parents who saw the talent in me and allowed me to experience and learn the art forms. They were always there in my ups and lows. Celebrated when I succeeded and motivated me when I failed. It would have been a very tough path for me without my parents’ support,” she recalls.
Asked to spell out a better stress buster, the art lover refuses to choose. “Both have their own ways to calm you down. After finishing practice or a performance be it dance or music, I experience the same feeling of satisfaction and peace,” she says.
Holding her view, she says: “Music can be practised at any time and any place but it is not the same with dance. Dance requires a space to move whereas for music it isn’t required. But dance too can be done by siting in one place and performing abhinaya. That would balance the disadvantage we have for the nritta part of dance.”
Motivated To Learn Music
Ambati Ramya Kaparthini, Class X student, has been learning Dance and Music from Sinjini School of Arts under Sindhuja. She has been learning dance for the last three years and music for two years. Ramya accepts that learning Music is helpful in dancing. “Learning Music helps in catching the song quickly while dancing,” she says.
The Class X student is excited to follow in the footsteps of Sindhuja akka. “I learned Dance first and was really motivated to learn Music after doing dance. I practice Dance for an hour and Music for half-an-hour daily,” says the budding artist. She thanks her parents and her guru for creating interest in the art forms.
Ramya gives equal importance to Dance and Music, but is inclined to Dance to relieve stress. She refutes that Dance is not practiced as per time of the day, but it can be done anytime just like practicing Music.