The concept of performing arts has evolved drastically over the years. In modern times its stature has risen from merely being a hobby to being taken seriously as a discipline with promising career graph ahead.
Performing Arts have always found their connoisseurs thereby enhancing acceptance. From celebrating seasons and developmental milestones to adorning prestigious stages with elaborate performances, the field has awakened people and stirred them to adapt the art beyond its aesthetics. Performing arts are regarded as a discipline that holds tradition, heritage, and a huge quotient of rich Indian history as its very foundation. In recent times, these arts have grown beyond societal notions, perceptions and limitations owing to their non-verbal nature, and have emerged as impactful form of self-expression.
Today, young performing artists can take their career with a degree in either music, dance or drama, to newer heights without any worries about being able to support themselves, provided they learn the right skill-set that can help them leverage their potential. Though the internet has drastically changed the world as we know it, providing a humongous amount of exposure to students of this age; the awareness about emerging careers is still limited.
The World University of Design offers a whole array of programmes to students to pave a career in Performing Arts. As an evangelist of the discipline, the university strives hard to make sure that the students not just learn the nuances but also become exponents of the chosen field in the future. At WUD, students can opt for a Bachelor and Masters’s programmes in performing arts (dance/music) which can in turn open avenues to various professions beyond traditional career choices! In the field of dancing alone, for instance, one can choose to be performers, teachers, choreographers and researchers to arts-therapists, content writers, arts managers and art administrators!
The approach of the university is to provide holistic education, bridging the gap between practice & profession, and create self-sufficient artists and entrepreneurs. The practice courses emphasise equally on practical and theoretical knowledge, which helps learners gain first-hand experience of what they will witness in their professional journey. However, understanding the nuances of the profession is what gives our students the edge.
For instance – most performers need to be able to run a small business (such as educational institutions or repertoire companies) or write grant applications, alongside basic administration, marketing, managerial & financial skills (such as digital marketing, campaign planning, NFT making, IPR protection etc). Artists need to know their communities to create opportunities that can attract the present and future generations to take these artistic legacies forward. Eventually, this is how professionals will have sustainable careers, thus most students need these skills early on.
As students and artists, it is imperative to understand that the nature of this profession is short-lived, forever dynamic and transient. It is only a matter of time before our bodies can no longer align with our mental capacities, and any overburdening will cause more harm than good. Therefore, incorporating career management, production design, therapeutic practices, pedagogy techniques, research skills, and other business skills wherein students work on their fortes will empower graduates to create sustainable careers.
In addition to this, we must change and redefine the parameters of success. As educators, we need students to understand that it is significant to view non-performance roles as exciting opportunities to achieve a sustainable, long-spanning career in Performing Arts. This approach will avoid dispelling students’ dreams and aspirations and possibly make their dreams and goals more attainable.
– Prof (Dr.) Parul Purohit Vats, Dean, School of Performing Arts, World University of Design, Sonipat, Haryana