My aim to explore the way Bharatanatyam can be portrayed in different manners: Poorvi Bhave

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The young and dynamic Poorvi Bhave is a highly gifted Bharatanatyam dancer. Poorvi inherited the love for performing arts from her parents. She started learning when she was only 7 years of age and had blossomed into a performer by the time she turned 18. While growing up Poorvi had a lot of exposure to North Indian music, and she used to listen to various genres, instruments, etc.

She loves literature and also has an interest in acting. Her biggest USP has been her boundless enthusiasm, eagerness to learn new things and experiment. It is her unique experiential amalgamation of text, music, costumes and visual impact that separates her from most of the other dancers.

It is this conviction in her own talent and the immense support provided by her parents and her Guru Dr Sandhya Purecha that empowered Poorvi to launch ‘The House of Nritya’, her own Bharatanatyam dance company. It wasn’t easy for her to get going despite all her talent and parental support.

She focuses on creating a heady mix of traditional classical items and modern compositions. In line with this strategy, her recent YouTube release is a great amalgamation of Game of Thrones theme music with her Bharatanatyam dance moves. In a candid chat with us Poorvi shares about her dream, passion, why did she choose to specialize in Bharatnatyam and all that.

Expresso: How did the passion for dance begin? Did you always want to be a dancer?

Poorvi: My passion for dance began at the age of five when I met my Guru, Dr. Sandhya Purecha. I come from a culturally rich family and grew up listening to my mother who learned classical music at home from her guru every day. I was five when my mother asked me if I was interested in music, but I replied to her saying I wanted to learn dance. That’s when I was introduced to my guru, Dr Sandhya Purecha. My formal introduction to Bharatanatyam happened when I was seven-year-old, and by the time I turned 18, I was dancing on the stage.

Expresso: Why did you choose to specialize in Bharatanatyam? What is the inspiration behind it?

Poorvi: At the age of five, like other children, I was quite inclined towards Bollywood dance, and that’s when I was introduced to Dr Sandhya Purecha, my guru. Prior to seeking Bharatanatyam lessons, just like the children of my generation, I had a natural affinity for western music and dance.

However, in no time, the sound of mridangam pulled me over and made me fall in love with Bharatanatyam. My formal Bharatanatyam training began at the age of seven. I didn’t have to contemplate, the choice was made naturally, with ease, and passion. Having said that, I am also fond of other dance forms like the Western Ballet. Given an opportunity and if time permits, I would love to learn western contemporary dance forms along with Kalari and Chhau.

Expresso: You recently launched a series called Antarnaad, please tell us about that?

Poorvi: Antarnaad is a series set up to explore different shades of classical dance styles and unified music in a contemporary way. From hardcore classical to a mix of western and old-style, I am in the process of exploring different avenues with regard to music, writing, costumes, cosmetics and everything that depicts the disciplinary body language of Bharatanatyam.

The main melody of the series was a prayer dedicated to Lord Ganesha which was launched in June 2019. We launched the second Antarnaad recently and I have choreographed and conceptualized it myself. The composer of the song is my mother, Varsha Bhave, and has been sung by Shalmali Sukhatankar, Aditi, Amonkar, Swapnali Sawant, Arya Khadilka, Gayatri Phunguskar, and Isha Limaye. It is a Sargam based on Raag Desh and features dohas by Sant Raheem narrating how “the string of love once broken cannot be rejoined”, and one must “praise the affection, wherein Haldi and Choon leave its own colours to shape another one.

The video is artful, eye-catching, and hails love as something that must be experienced when one foregoes ego. The choreography, costumes, and cosmetics feature the conventional style of Bharatanatyam with a twist that will leave a lasting impression on one and all. The videos likewise offer a certain visual and true to life imaginative freedom, and through the means of Antarnaad, my aim to explore the way Bharatanatyam can be portrayed in different manners.

Expresso : How did you come up with ‘The House of Nritya’? Did you always want to have a Bharatanatyam dance academy?

Poorvi: Every dancer dreams of having his/her own dancing academy. The House of Nritya is a long-lived dream for which I have surpassed a number of challenges. I now consider it as the biggest professional accomplishment of my life.

Expresso:  What were the challenges you faced when you started ‘The House of Nritya’? How did you overcome it?

Poorvi: Getting students as getting people to like Bharatanatyam in today’s world is a task. Over the years, contemporary dance forms have overshadowed the traditional ones. Realizing the need to incorporate elements that are contemporary as well as trending seeded the base for starting something new. To further attract the youth, I aligned my focus towards introducing a fusion of modern beats and music to the Bharatanatyam moves to make it visually appealing. It was this attempt that led me to create a dance video with the ever-trending Game of Thrones theme music which was well-received by the audience world-over.

Expresso: What do you do in your spare time?

Poorvi: In most of my spare time, you’ll find me practising or experimenting with different dance styles to introduce something new, constantly. Besides this, I also like to spend time on Netflix or social media platforms, learning and adapting new things. Someone has rightly said, “all work no play keeps jack a dull boy” – and I abide by this rule.

Expresso: What does Dance mean to you?

Poorvi: For me dance is everything. My art, Bharatanatyam, has played a crucial role in my life since childhood.

Expresso: Tell us about your future plans?

Poorvi: As of now, I am exploring the potential of tying up with event organizers for live performances all over the world and simultaneously working on creating engaging content for YouTube. My motive is to spread the reach of Bharatanatyam through the means of my dance academy, ‘The House of Nritya’, and perform nationally as well as internationally on stage in collaboration with artists from the same genre.

Expresso: Would you like to share some achievements or recognitions so far?

Poorvi: Establishing ‘The House of Nritya’, my dancing academy, has been my greatest professional achievement to date.

Expresso: If not a dancer what you would be?

Poorvi: If not a dancer, I would have been an actor. I would have chosen any arts stream since it runs in my blood.

 

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