Sandip Mallick celebrates 25 years of his journey as a Kathak dancer
Have you ever imagined interpreting the ups and downs of the stock market through dance and that too, in kathak? That’s exactly the feat kathak exponent Sandip Mallick achieved at the Battery Dance Festival, held in New York last year. The 44-year-old kathak enthusiast, who has performed across the globe including Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy and Singapore, will celebrate 25 years of his dancing career with a solo performance at GD Birla Sabhaghar today.
The hour-and-a-half-long recital, titled Ek Nartak, will encapsulate the various stages of an artiste’s life, in two phases. The first phase talks about an ar t iste’s journey, denoted through different taals with a separate accompanying instrument for each. Expect the sarangi, the tabla and santoor, besides the harmonium and the sarod. The second phase, called Realisation, is denoted through Surdas’ bhajans, (devotional songs) in a ’25 matra’ composition called Navras — a teen-taal composition that expresses the joy of being an accomplished artiste, with 12 musicians rendering it. The penultimate segment is called Nayak Veda, illustrating the different types of actors one can find, concluding with a kirtan, denoting moksha (salvation).
Mallick has done extensive research on the geometric analysis of basic movements and footwork employed in kathak, under the fellowship of Ministry of Culture, which will soon be published as a book. “I completed the work last year. It’s a culmination of all I have learnt and observed, whi l e performing and teaching over the years,” says the dancer, who started learning the art form at the age of four.
But how does he make kathak, an ancient dance form, interesting for today’s hip-hop and Zumba loving generation? Busy conducting dance classes for his students at Tarana Dance Academy, New Jersey, USA,where he often plays mentor over Skype, Mallick tells us, “If we show them a properly executed dance recital, they will get interested. I have observed that they are in awe of the dance form, and pick up the steps very well. Kathak also helps in dealing with unpalatable situations in life that are so common nowadays.”
Sandip Mallick will perform at GD Birla Sabhaghar today at 6 pm.