Salsa artiste Magna Gopal believes the Latin dance form enables higher forms of conversation 

Indo-Canadian salsa artiste Magna Gopal on choreography becoming conversation and developing online courses to spread the joy

Magna Gopal’s passion for salsa is limitless. We asked her one reason why she is so crazy about the Latin American dance form and she promptly lists out half a dozen reasons. Her definition of the dance form goes beyond measured moves. The Indo-Canadian artiste who moved to Canada when she was six-years-old, was on her maiden tour to Kolkata when we spoke to her. The solo performer who has travelled to over 80 countries showed some great moves at the Kolkata Salsa Weekend held recently. Excerpts:

Magna who fell in love with the dance form by fluke, as she says, loves both solo and partnership forms. While she finds the duet form infinitely interesting, the solo form makes her feel more empowered. She says, “During social dance I collaborate with a partner, but I don’t have a fixed partner. I enjoy a solo performance more as it gives me lots of creative freedom.” We quickly ask her about the advantages of being a solo salsa dancer and she lists, “There is not one, but many advantages. I can change the choreography when I want to. If there is a mistake in the choreography, no one will know about it! I can push my limits according to my potential, I can experiment on different types of moves, there is no physical or psychological limitation...”

A student of Economics and International Relations, Magna changed her career path when her interest in salsa turned into a passion. For her, salsa is beyond just movement. She says, “It’s a non-verbal form of communication and it creates contact between two people, of a very different kind which is beyond verbal communication.” Magna who has a YouTube channel and who has spoken in Ted Talks in 2016 addresses common issues like rejection, emotional breakdown and more through dance. Magna’s personal style is unconventional, she points out. “Dance for me is not just about moves but commitment with the music and the partner. My style is out of the box. As we dance, I slip into the role of the lead without my partner even knowing it. Choreography becomes the conversation between two friends,” avers Magna who is working on online courses to educate people more about the dance form.

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