Maestro ire on western values

Indian classical dance traditions were being slowly snuffed out by their western counterparts, renowned kathak dancer Mohan Krishna claimed last week.

The 70-year-old kathak exponent of the Banaras Gharana, who was in coal capital Dhanbad to conduct a five-day workshop, said very few people had the patience to master the nuances of Indian classical dance over a period of time.

"The desire to be famous and appear on national television is drawing the younger generation towards western dance and music," Krishna said on the sidelines of the workshop that ended last Wednesday.

The workshop, organised by Sanskar Bharti, the cultural wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, at Dhanbad's BSS Women's College, saw 75 people learning the nuances of the classical dance .

The participants, who had been divided into junior and senior categories, matched steps with Krishna who had been roped in by the organisers as a special guest. Vidyut Acharjee accompanied the maestro on the tabla during the workshop.

"The younger generation is also being swayed by influence of films on western culture. The censor of our country should step up its efforts to scan all such films minutely and blur or edit out obscene contents," Krishna said.

He also held the parents and guardians of children responsible for the spread of westernised values in the society.

Parents, instead of deterring their children from taking up western dance forms at the expense of Indian ones, were themselves taken in by the culture of the west, Krishna added.

"Many children become stars overnight after taking part in a reality show. Many others fade into oblivion," the expert, who acted as a dancing director in the much-acclaimed film Chandan Ka Palna, said.

He also criticised the system of winners being chosen by the audience in reality shows. "Judges should have a final call in such shows and should be given a free hand. There are chances that the audiences do not have any knowledge about a particular genre of music or dance and may end up voting for the wrong person."

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