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Preserving and Innovating: The Future of Kathak and Bollywood Dance with Shavira Narrandes

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In the world of dance, Kathak and Bollywood styles hold a special place, blending rich cultural heritage with modern flair. Shavira Narrandes, a dedicated Kathak and Bollywood dance teacher, shares her insights on the importance of keeping these dance forms alive and how they continue to evolve in today’s multicultural landscape.  

“Classical dance has been around since about 400 BCE,” Shavira begins, highlighting the deep historical roots of Kathak. “It’s a lot of culture, traditions, and knowledge that’s been passed down through generations, and that’s not something we want to lose.”  

For Shavira, preserving Kathak is about maintaining a dance style and keeping a vital connection to heritage alive. “It’s very important to pass all that knowledge through the generations. Even now, being here in Canada helps families stay connected to their culture despite being thousands of miles away from their home country.” 

Shavira herself is a testament to the global spread of these traditions.

“I’m not directly from India, but we can see how this tradition has spread around the world and down through the generations. It’s a good way to keep in contact with one’s heritage and culture.”  

Beyond personal and familial connections, Shavira emphasizes the importance of teaching others about Indian culture through dance. “We do many workshops in the city and perform at various events. People from all cultures come to our school wanting to learn how to dance and learn about Indian classical dance. Sharing our knowledge with the community is amazing.” 

By introducing Kathak and Bollywood dance to a diverse audience, Shavira preserves these traditions and fosters cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. 

Looking ahead, Shavira envisions an exciting evolution for classical dance.

“Right now, I see things becoming more fusion-based. Many Bollywood movies incorporate Indian classical dancing into their music, creating a blend of traditional and contemporary styles. That’s what many students want these days.” 

While fusion dance is gaining popularity, Shavira believes it’s crucial to maintain a strong foundation in the basics of Kathak. “It’s important to keep the tradition going and learn the basics. People still teach the fundamentals here and there, but we often use them in a Bollywood context. I believe the future will continue to see these fusions thrive.”  

Shavira Narrandes’ passion for Kathak and Bollywood dance highlights the enduring significance of these art forms. By preserving their rich history and embracing innovative fusions, Shavira ensures these dances remain vibrant and relevant for future generations. She keeps a vital cultural connection alive through her teaching and community outreach. She inspires a new generation to appreciate and engage with the beauty of Indian classical dance. 

– Yuliia Kovalenko, U Multicultural

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