"Present It in Pure Form and Proper Guidance" - Harshada Jambekar

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1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I was born and brought up in Mumbai. I am a hardcore Mumbaikar.  I Have completed my graduation in commerce from Mumbai university. After 12th I opted for correspondence from university as was traveling a lot for my dance performances.

I started learning Kathak at very tender age that is 4. I am very Blessed to have wonderful Guru who developed interest for this classical art at that young age of mine.

2. When did you first decide you wanted to pursue dancing and how did you start?

I started learning kathak and developed a interest in this art form a lot. My parents, teachers always encouraged me to do riyaz and also encouraged me to participate in various Kathak competitions.

My Guruji always believed that u tend to learn a lot even if you don't win. With a wonderful guidance and hard work I won many inter-school, interstate competitions.

I also got the opportunity to travel out of India to perform solo Kathak as well as Indian folk dances in Children Festival at France at the age of 10.

All these wonderful things made up my mind to pursue this art form.

3. Who is your favorite dancer and why?

It is very difficult to mention anyone favorite dancer. Every artist has its own beautiful style. I follow many legendary dancers namely My guru -  Dr. Manjiri Deo ji, Pt. Biraju Maharaj ji, Smt. Kumudini Lakhia ji, Rajendra Gangani ji.

I do follow few young dancers as well who are doing great job in this field like Aditi Bhagwat and Shambhavi Dandekar.

4. Can you throw some light on opportunities one gets as a dancer?

I believe, if opportunity doesn't knock then build a door. Hard work and connecting people is the only solution. Meet more people, grab the opportunity no matter if it is not that big. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be wise and positive. Don't go for shortcuts they will never last longer.

5. Is format training required or can one train themselves purely on the basis of talent?

I feel Format learning is very essential in this performing art. This is a traditional art. To understand it and to present it in its pure form proper guidance is necessary. 

Techniques and many minor/major things can be learn by guru and of course the experience of guru helps students to progress and to decide better path towards success.

6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring artists?

You can be a performer, Teacher, choreographer, can work as a music therapist. Many doors are available. Only one thing one has to do is decide and act towards it.

7. Which is your favorite book and why?

I am not into books much but the books related to dance for sure draws my attention.

Interviewed By - Nupur Jha


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