18 February 2020
A city-based dentist-cum-classical dancer, Dr Varun Khanna would perform Bharatnatyam in national capital for a national all male classical dancers festival ‘Shivvarghya’ curated by renowned Guru Padmabhushan Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan. The fest will be held on 23rd February at Ganesa Natyalaya, founded by Dr Vaidyanathan, in Mehrauli, Hauz Khas, New Delhi.
Dr. Varun has been teaching Bharatanatyam in Tricity for past one year at his Tathastu Yog Studio in Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula which is near Ivy Hospital (from Panchkula side) and near DT Mall (from Chandigarh side). He has students of different age groups, ranging from 5 to 60 years. According to him, he started teaching Bharatanatyam, the South Indian classical dance form as a way of attaining physical and mental fitness.
Dr. Varun said, “Bharatnatyam keeps you concentrated and focused, increases alertness, reduces health issues, keeps spine and back healthy along with increasing flexibility. My own teacher, Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan is going to be 83 this year and she is still dancing across the globe. Veteran Bollywood actress Dr Vyjanthimala Bali is 87 and I saw her dance two times in Chennai few months back. These are the intangible benefits of Indian Classical Dance.”
“Weekend batches were introduced, so that students and people have time, with no formal work to do and can learn with a relaxed body and mind, because to learn dance, specially Bharatanatyam, one has to have patience, dedication, devotion, diligence and without these, an individual cannot become a good dancer,” he added.
Dr. Varun credits this milestone to his going against the social thoughts that dance, especially Bharatanatyam is only for girls or LGBT members. And even if someone is, so what? Atleast now we’re in the time of accepting ones identity, scrapping article 377 etc. Dance is genderless. Just like a newborn knows no God, religion, caste, similar is the dance. It is society who feeds such things into the minds of dance aspirants and potential dancers who can do wonders in this field get disheartened. I have met so many middle-aged and elderly men, who come up to me and share that how because of parental and societal pressure they could not take up Bharatanatyam during their times. I am thinking of starting online classes as well.
He says that dance and sexuality of a person has no relation. Boys and men need to move out of this hesitation and should live their passion. If one is really passionate, it could be a good profession or atleast second profession. Classes are conducted for people of 5 to 55 years of age. Interested persons can register their name at Tathastu Yog Studio, Mansa Devi Complex by calling at 75088-52619 number.