Shubhadha Prabhakar

The survivor named Art

The world which was once chaotic has come to a standstill. And now, the standstill itself has created chaos. Everyone is looking for some calm in this unprecedented situation.

At such a time, we need to keep our minds engaged with activities. Positive vibes and thoughts are said to put an end to even the toughest of diseases. It’s time for us to be optimistic, and try to look for joy in small things to feel and do better.

People from different walks of life are now together on the cloud called the Internet. All major company employees are working from home. Educational institutions are conducting their classes online. Even Art is completely dependent on technology.

Being a dancer, I always observe art in people around me. Art is in everyone’s life – be it through music, dance or cinema, and has been a part of one’s day-to-day routine. We often see a construction worker listening to music while working and the art of cooking too is most enjoyed with music in the background. People take to dance to become fit or to relieve their stress. Cinema and television have been agreeably impactful. Art exhibitions are enjoyed by contemporary audiences and sculpting as an art reflects our heritage and gives one a sense of pride.  Art is endowing even to a practicing artiste. It gives us immense joy, fulfilment, and a purpose of living. But, in this unfortunate situation, we artistes are lamentably considered the least essential section of the society.

Shubhadha Prabhakar

Since all forms of vocations are now online, this current situation has given artistes a chance to also move to the virtual world with everyone else. From amateurs to professionals, it’s a far reaching horizon, giving everyone opportunities to display their talent and satisfy their soul. A connoisseur is able to enjoy performances of a famous artist in the comfort of their home whose shows were once viewable only on prestigious platforms.  They can also watch budding dancers / musicians who have been craving the limelight. But, all is not sunshine in the field. Technicians, makeup artistes, decorators, support ensemble crews are all struggling to make ends meet.

As a dance teacher, I never favoured or entertained the thought of a divine art like Bharatanatyam being taught online. Art is to be embraced with regard for its customs.  What has come of it? From the divinity of the Art and service to the Guru which the student sought through the Gurukul system of learning, to one or two hour sessions of practicing in a classroom, and now to becoming art hobbyists and being coached through a screen. In view of giving paramount importance to the art form, the sacred relationship between the Guru and a student needs to be maintained and preserved through physical interaction. Since it is impossible to establish this in the current scenario, all teachers and Gurus have been persuaded to implement innovative ways of teaching.

Art is influential, art is attractive, and art is communication!

Art is very giving. It reflects the society’s way of living. It takes inspiration from all and imparts inspiration to all. Art has survived many centuries. It has seen many pandemics, wars and has been through some really rough times. But it has never died. Art always thrives in all our hearts. It is the artiste’s dream that art flourishes. Art for arts’ sake! And art is the only way to achieve that. We must appreciate the omnitude of it. Not just understand it, but become a part of that world.  It is in our hands to keep every art alive.

Now, more than ever, let us not give up on something so beautiful. Treasuring it now will be the wisest move for it will endow us with greater goods in the future.

Because, Art can weather any storm!

Article by Shubhadha Prabhakar

1 thought on “The survivor named Art”

  1. Sooooooooper, ur article on the art of Bharathanatyam shows a Guru , how much r feeling for teaching online instead of in physical contact between guru and shishya
    I hope good days are fast approaching for the art performances in person on the stage


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