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A hot Sunday morning spent in the cool basement studio of Kathak dancer Swati Sinha in Gurugram, inviting a group of curious minds into the world of Bharatanatyam.

In an attempt to make the classical arts more accessible to people with a stressful, urban lifestyle, Swati has begun this series titled ‘Parichay’, where she invites classical dancers to present lecture-demonstrations introducing their dance forms. The audience is mostly those who live in the neighbourhood and usually never get the time or the opportunity to go to central Delhi to attend dance performances. The purpose is to educate people about the classical arts and hopefully convert them into future audiences.

On the 17th of June, 2018, I was invited to share my journey with an enthusiastic group of people, many of whom were already well initiated into the arts. I spoke about the history of Bharatanatyam and performed some traditional compositions from the repertoire, finally introducing them to my recent works on contemporary Hindi poetry. I was assisted by Shivapriya and  Jashasmita, two young disciples of Smt. Geeta Chandran. The intimate setting of the basement allowed for the audiences to engage with me and enjoy the abhinaya from close quarters.  The session was very interactive with a lot of dialogue and discussion. A great initiative indeed by Swati Sinha!