Head of Department of Dance, University of Hyderabad, Jonnlagadda Anuradha and her students participated in Sri Siddhendra Yogi Natya Kalotsavam at Kuchipudi village in the district. She shared her views on education and dance. Excerpts…

  • You have been dancer and academician. How many are seriously learning classical dances?

  • There is a good response from parents and students to classical dances. The number of students learning dance at entry level, say diploma, is very good. But, we don’t see the same response at the master’s level.

  • Then how is response to dance courses in university?

  • The response is encouraging. Last year, we could fill only 10 admissions though there were 15 seats. This year, we have filled all the seats.

  • What are the job prospects for a student who completed Masters in your university?

  • That’s the biggest question before the students. As I said earlier, the students are worried about their livelihood. The sustenance after completion of the course bogs them down.

  • Are enough material and textbooks available?

  • As far as Indian dance is concerned, I don’t think there is enough material. But, we have collected many old texts from Tirupati Oriental Research Library and other places. We are in the process of documenting them. We are developing a bank of texts, and have ambitious plans to develop the university as Source Centre for Kuchipudi.

  • Throw some light on research on classical dance

  • The university gave an extra edge to the research aspect of dance. We try to strike a balance between theory and practice. Now, the research on dance does not revolve around the texts or history of dance.

  • What is the importance of theoretical foundation for performing artistes?

  • If one wants to be a thinking dancer, grow beyond just repeating what she has learnt during her training, a strong theoretical base is a must. One can correlate and coordinate between the action and the reason behind doing that particular action only if one is well versed with theory.

    “Grow beyond just repeating what one has learnt during training”

    — Jonnlagadda Anuradha