Rising Star Dance

Rupanshi Kashyap on her dance dreams

Kathak dancer Rupanshi Kashyap

Kathak dancer Rupanshi Kashyap  

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Kathak dancer Rupanshi Kashyap owes it to her guru’s training

“Kumibehn (Kumudini Lakhia) is not only a guru she is also a guardian angel,” says Rupanshi Kahsyap talking fondly about the veteran Kathak dancer-choreographer.

“It would not be wrong to say that I grew up in Kadamb (Kumudini’s Ahmedabad-based institute). My mother was her disciple and would take me to the class when I was a child. I was fascinated by the movements and music. So much that by age six, I decided to get trained in Kathak,” laughs Rupanshi, a senior member of Kadamb and an important performer in its productions.

Over the past few years, Rupanshi has emerged as a solo dancer to watch out for. Last year, she performed at the annual Saptak festival in Ahmedabad and Raza Foundation’s Uttaradhikar Series in New Delhi. “Since it is not easy to establish yourself as a solo performer, such opportunities are both challenging and exciting for young artistes. And I cannot thank my guru enough. Supportive she always has been of her students’ creative endeavours, but more importantly, she gives the confidence and courage to find our space. With changing times, she has rediscovered the art of teaching that prepares a sishya to take the next step forward,” explains Rupanshi.

At the age of 15, she went on a one-year exchange programme to the U.S. “It was a turning point in my life. Along with academics, I was learning a whole range of arts — painting, sculpture, dance, music and more. I realised nothing gave me as much joy as dance. When I returned, I decided to give all my time and energy to it. Kadamb became my home. I would watch a production take shape, observe the way my senior and the talented Sanjukta Sinha improvises and discuss with Kumibehn my fears and dreams.”

Kadamb for Rupanshi has been more than a training ground in Kathak. “Besides perfecting my art, Kumibehn has taught me the necessary life skills. Art cannot exist in isolation, it has to be backed by certain values,” says the young artiste, who has begun to do theatre too.

“Since all arts are inter-linked, it is good to expose oneself to different creative experiences. But I see to it that it does not come in the way of my dance rehearsals. One is an art, where you do not speak when you perform, while dialogue is the soul of the other. I plan to do a dance production which will be a blend of both.”

Till then, following in the footsteps of her guru, who is known to be a bold experimenter, Rupanshi will keep widening her artistic horizons and refining her art.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 9:00:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/rupanshi-kashyap-on-her-dance-dreams/article25191992.ece

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