Classical dance represents a region’s tradition and culture. India is known for its various classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Odissi, Kathakali and many more. Amongst these different forms, Bharatanatyam is known as the ancient dance form, which was originated from Tamil Nadu. However, in today’s evolving world, the significance of these classical dances have reduced and more of the western dance forms have found a great place in the minds of people. Yet, there is still a great zeal of opportunities to have a career in these classical dance forms.
VARIOUS CAREER ROLES IN CLASSICAL DANCE
One of the main career options in dance is to become a dance performer. This is something that every dancer would aim for, for, it’s all about exhibiting one’s talent in front of an audience. However, a performer should have an attractive appearance, facial expression and the skill to take up different roles. Should be acquainted with stage presence and other aspects of performing in a stage. Great performers like Shobana, Rukmini and other artists have set a great role model for others who are passionate about it. Many avenues are open to such artists.
2. TEACHER/ GURU
All great performers will be great teachers too. One must have an aptitude for teaching, patience and the skill of initiation to train kids and others who are new to it. Such dance teachers can train kids at their house / have a separate dance school for it. They can also become teachers in schools, colleges, and in dance institutes too, for it has great value in terms of classical dance forms.
One of the main career options which are in high demand is the need for good dance choreographers. These choreographers are people who do dance compositions, for both group dance and solo performances. They even group dancers and establish a sequence of dances. They should also have exceptional creative powers to interpret music in terms of beat, speed and dance. Such choreographers can go into films, television and other social media platforms. One can teach college/student college students as well
4. WORK IN THEATERS AND AS ADMINISTRATORS
Working in a theater, where acting is focused, even dance skills can be useful. You can also become great arts administrators by working in any of the dance companies. As a dancer, you’ll be aware of all the things required for a show and everything related to it. Therefore, this will make sure you earn enough by doing what you love. If you are good at organizing budgetary finances, schedule meetings, rehearsals or even shows, or be a support to the artistic director, then this career choice will be apt for you all.
5. DANCE PHOTOGRAPHER / VIDEOGRAPHER
Being a dancer yourself, you may know the movements of the dancers. You may be well-informed about predicting great photo moments and video framing. Moreover, if you are also interested in photography, then this field can be very alluring and interesting to have both of your passion together as a career. Dancers always have a creative eye, and when this is established in photography, one can reach great heights.
6. COSTUME DESIGNER
If you are a dancer, then you will be prone to a lot of different costumes. In a much better scenario, if you are a performer, then you’d be aware of what type of costumes best suit for what type of dance forms. This knowledge along with some passion for designing can make you a great costume designer for dance or normal clothing. You could also learn to sew and create your own costumes if you work for a certain company.
These are some of the notable career opportunities in Classical Dance. Some of the notable dancers in this field of dance are:
- Rukmini Devi Arundale, who did won her Padmashri and is also responsible for modernising the olden form of Bharatanatyam.
- A Ranjana Gauhar, who has won Padmashri for her immense contribution to the field of Odissi.
- Padmashri A.Leela Samson is also a great dancer and is currently the head of one of the refined Bharatanatyam schools in Tamil Nadu, called Kalakshetra.
- The top Kathak dancer who is known for generations and will be known for generations to come is Pandit Birju Maharaj.
FEW TIPS TO HAVE A GREAT CAREER
1. CHOOSE YOUR PRIORITIES
“Work while you should and Play while you should, but never work while you should play and never play while you should work.” This quote is important to many, who wish to have a great career and especially in classical dance. To shine in a dying tradition is a very challenging goal, and therefore, one needs to lay more focus into their practice sessions, their connections and most importantly, should be able to afford more time to it than any other work. It is better to avoid to multi-tasking so as to fully concentrate on developing their skills to become the master in whatever they want to do.
2. STAY FOCUSED
To have a career in classical dance takes most of your time in mastering it. Therefore, this might deprive you out of your social life but that should never be a hurdle for you. Rather than focusing on finding entertainment through hanging out with friends, it is more advisable to spend that time practicing. To have a break from this tedious process, you can go out with friends during the weekends but the focus should always be on your career.
3. BETTERING YOURSELF
Once you have started to earn out of dancing, it’ll be easier to keep focusing on your practice sessions, in fact, you can purely focus on it, for it has become your livelihood. Success can give you motivation and some time to work out and stay fit too. The more you practice, the more you experience, the better you mould yourself into that art.
4. DUAL ROADS
Sometime, to have a career in 2 fields can also be an aspect which will motivate you to work harder and produce great results. Any career or job will have its low phases but at the end of the day, there’ll be some different tasks in your life than a monotonous cycle. This can also be an inspiration to try new things in your classical dance. Even when one of your career field sounds dull, you can cope up with the other.
These are some of the different career opportunities in classical dance and some tips to have an efficient career. Focus, practice, dedication, hard work, innovation, inspiration and commitment are all the basic aspects for success and especially in a competitive world. Classical dance, though is practiced by many, it still needs more awareness to be as famous as the western dance forms. However, one can have a successful career in classical dance by preaching its theories and techniques in a more sustained and interesting manner.
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