“As performers, we also need to be cognisant of the situation, audience and duration while planning a recital,” says 21-year-old Sudharma Vaidya-nathan, a disciple of seasoned dancer, A Lakshmanaswamy. Even as she sounds excited about presenting traditional pieces during the season, she might choose a different repertoire for a global event, such as an international conference, she reasons.
While we see a multitude of views on each dancer’s choice over presentation formats, we also find some just going with the flow of their heart. “Even though I enjoy watching contemporary themes, my heart still lies in the traditional pieces,” says Radhe Jaggi, a solo performer currently exploring the ensemble space. Having sprouted from the same roots of the premier dance institution Kalakshetra, KP Rakesh, Christopher Guruswamy, and Radhe, share similar views on the versatile framework of the ‘margam’.
Amidst all this, how does gender fit into the overall scheme of things? “To me, gender is a construct and it may well be a fashionable thing to say. But when you remove gender from any piece, the truth of it is revealed, which allows for a meaningful engagement,” says Christopher, a prior member of the acclaimed Leela Samson’s Spanda dance company.