A solo Bharatnatyam recital set to Hindustani classical music by young male performer here, aims at a new take on the traditional south Indian dance.
Choreographed by veteran danseuse Sindhu Mishra, the solo recital in Hindi by her disciple Shashrek Ambardar offers a unique synthesis between two different musical forms.
The performance, which amalgates Carnatic and Hindustani music styles and presented by Aayam Cultural Society is scheduled on January 15.
Preparing to give his maiden live performance in the national capital, Ambardar, an economics student of Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College, admits that pursuing a passion for Bharatnatyam was never easy.
Thanks to his classmates who thought classical dance is not a boy’s cup of tea, he had to face constant ridicule and mockery.
"My classmates used to mock me but at the same time, I also have seen a change in them over the years. As they saw me performing on many occasions, their perception also changed," says Ambardar.
Despite the stereotype, he says that there are quite a number of male classical dancers.
"It’s a myth that boys can’t dance, if you see history, you will find that a lot of traditional dancers were males," says the dancer who was conferred with the National Balshree Honour in 2009 in the field of Creative Performing Arts by the President of India.
Hailing from a family where nobody had a background in dancing Ambardar credits his mother for helping him venture into the field. It was she who saw his "random dance" and decided to enroll him into an academy and for the past 14 years he had been learning dance.
Ambardar says he is excited about his first performance in front of "Delhi people." Previously he had performed in Tamil Nadu which was "altogether a different challenge" he recounts.
"People in Tamil Nadu are versed with Bharatnatyam, they are much more familiar with it. I don’t know about Delhi people and how will they react," he says.
His guru Sindhu Mishra points out that the recital amalgamates Hindustani and Carnatic music not just in rhythms but also in vocals.
"The vocal renditions are in both Hindustani and Carnatic, and this lends a unique blend to the traditional south Indian dance form. Unlike most Bharatnatyam recitals which are performed by women, this is a solo performance by a male dancer," she says.
The event is scheduled to take place here at the L T G Auditorium.