Bollywood v Kathak

15min

Senior Ketki Tamhankar dances to both modern and classic Indian styles

By Erum Rizvi

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When did you first start dancing Lessons?

I started dancing around four years ago. I guess starting in gymnastics first led me to  transferring over to dance. For example, we did ballet dancing in gymnastics and that helped me with dancing later on.

Is there someone who inspired you to dance?

Not really anyone in particular, but I spend a lot of time on YouTube watching videos of dancing and some of the choreographers in those are pretty inspiring.

What kinds of dancing do you Practice?

I do several different types of dancing such as Bollywood inspired dances and a classical type of dance known as Kathak. It originated in north India but was popular in the Mughul court and incorporates some Muslim and Hindu dancing.

What is The typical atmosphere of a performance?

It is different every time because it depends on the occasion and type of dancing. sometimes there is a fusion of dances like when we combine the Kathak dance with the Bollywood type.

Are you on a dancing team in your community?

I am not exactly on a team, but my dance teacher has a kind of school of dance at her home where she teaches several students..
Dancing in a group is different because  of the classical type of dance in which you have to follow guidelines.

How do you prepare before a show?

We usually warm up by listening to the music several times through, do all our makeup and put on our costumes. Our wardrobe usually consists of an angarakha and a lehnga, which we wear interchangeably for Kathak dancing and bollywood type dances. The angarakha has a top dress with pants and a vest with a veil, while the lehnga is a long embroidered skirt with a top.

What is your most memorable experience?

Recently, I had a duet performance with my teacher, which was terrifying but exhilarating at the same time. I was really nervous because I had to try to live up to my teacher’s dancing skills, however I felt honored to be given the chance to dance with her.

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