Listen Corona, You Can Never Infect This Rhythm – KAPA Goes Virtual
Kathak classes and practice pick up more energy and discipline - amongst the students of Kala Ashram Udaipur - during the lockdown. Indoors, of course! But not inactive.
There is a concept of Ek Gunnn, Do Gunn and Chau-Gunn in Kathak. Every Taal, no matter of how many Matras, has to follow this cadence. You learn to accelerate, slide back and then slide up again – the effortlessness of being able to do this is a big hint of one’s grip on the Taal.
For art enthusiasts the Corona lockdown may have sounded like silence but if we hear closer, it is just the speed slowing down. It’s not switch-off mode at all.
A lot has changed after the lockdown - some people and professions are hibernating, while some are going in turbo-charged mode. Kathak, more so because of its classical essence, is not something that can be learnt or taught casually. Hence, taking it virtual is more complex than uploading an instruction manual or a corporate deck.
But Dr. Saroj Sharma, Director, Kala Ashram College of Performing Arts, Udaipur took this challenge and prerogative bravely, and brilliantly, when she encouraged students to continue their lessons in the digital medium. While a lot of courses have mushroomed in the world straddling many online and brick-and-mortar universities, many still struggle with the execution and comprehension aspects of a subject.
The intent is simple but commendable. Guru Saroj ji ensured that going virtual would not be a mere ‘tick-in-the-box’ but an effort that will show rigour, detail and thoroughness every day, every session. She has begun a complete stack of theory v-blogs, live conferencing classes, practice meeting rooms, interactive chat-rooms for doubts, and daily revisions during the lockdown. With the technology expertise of Mr. Madhuram Khatri, a vocal music student himself, the sessions are progressing with a smooth and neat experience. Check out the classes
Students are more than thrilled to tie their Ghungroos again, say the Padants together and sharpen their skills as much as possible despite the discipline to stay inside. It is something they are looking forward to every day now. The classes are in full swing and they reaffirm once again – epidemics can infect the body but never the human spirit. Artists will keep defeating these challenges with the immunity called music. It shields us from the bad because it is all about unfolding the good inside, as Guru Saroj ji reminds. “Dance is the best Yoga – converging the mind, body and the soul in a mysterious way. It’s happiness. It’s focus. It’s all about looking forward. That’s exactly what we need right now.”
Indeed! Because only when you have the courage and patience to stay in Ek-Gun, you would be able to traverse to the Chau-Gun again. So let’s keep tapping!