Paving Path For Kathak Dancers In India, Here’s Abhinav’s Story

3 min read

This inspiring tale is about a guy who started his journey in a stigmatized society where there was a clear demarcation between gender roles, and in those divided gender roles was a taboo that “men shouldn’t dance”. But, Abhinav Priyadarshi , the kid who was adamant to become a ‘Kathak Dancer’ fought with those gender roles and made his way in the society with dignity.

In year 2007, he fell in love, not with a person or some material, but with passion. His soul found solace in the lyrical sound of ‘ghunghroos’, and his mind learnt those ‘bol padhant’ before he was even taught properly. In short, our young kid was head over heels for Kathak, his newly found love.

Considering his utmost interest his parents decided to provide him proper training, no matter what the neighbors or the would think. And then the journey of our guy started. His guru, whom he lovingly called ‘baba’ used to wake him up early morning, tied ghunghroos in those feet and gave him lessons. It took almost 2 years to learn the basics, as his baba used to say ‘roots should be strong’. And then came the day when, the passion he nurtured for years, was ready to be shared with the outer world, i.e. his first ever stage performance. With few minor technical faults and an abundance of confidence, A star was born.

But the path is never easy especially when society discriminates you on the basis of your gender. His school friends used to mock him, bully him. Even few of the teachers demoralized him for choosing a line that was different. People sometimes teased him over his sexual orientation as he decided to do something which was considered rather feminine in the society. But all it took was courage to ignore people’s opinions and take a stand. 

With dedication, hard work and talent he soon became one of the most renowned dancers of his state. Those who mocked him, now praises him and shower love. In the time span of around 10 years, the young kid is now an established Kathak Dancer. He has won numerous prize and accolades at state and national level. And is now pursuing his studies, photography and dance all together.

He wants to open his own institute someday where he can shape the future of Indian Classical Dance and provide cultural ethos to a new generation of budding talents.

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