‘Dance is about sharing joys’

Indian classical dancer Tripti Bhupen talks about her plans for setting up a section of the International Dance Council in Dubai, World Dance Day celebrations and how the city is fast becoming a cultural hotspot

By Enid Parker (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Tue 22 Jul 2008, 3:04 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:11 PM

WHEN TRIPTI Bhupen walked into our office for a chat, it came as no real surprise that the atmosphere perked up almost immediately with the exuberance of her personality. She is after all a famed exponent of Bharatnatyam, the Indian classical dance that combines several modes of expression - the movement of limbs, the language of gestures, rhythm as executed by the feet, poetry as sung by musicians and of course, facial expression.

Tripti, who has called Dubai home for the past 18 years, completed her postgraduation in Fine Arts from Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts in Chennai, India.

She benefited from invaluable exposure to some of the finest Indian classical dancers, including the late Rukmini Devi. After a year in Delhi working under the guidance of Padmashree Leela Samson at Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, she moved to Dubai. “So my career as a Bharatnatyam dancer actually started here,” she smiles.

World Dance Congress - a multi-cultural extravaganza

Tripti recently attended the World Dance Congress on Dance Research in Athens, organised in collaboration with the International Dance Council. ‘I became a member of the International Dance Council five years ago but this is the first time I attended the Congress, which was an amazing experience. Athens is a beautiful city and people are very warm and lovely.

It’s a five-day event that includes workshops, performances, paper presentations, lectures. I met dancers from all over the world - countries like Spain, France, Mexico and many more,” she says.

She went on to speak about her plans for setting up a section of the International Dance Council in Dubai. “I had a meeting with the International Dance Council President, Professor Alkis Raftis, for a proposal to set up a dance council here, because of the multicultural aspect of the city. I need about 20 members who could be associated with dance in any form - they could be writing about dance, they could be associated with the music of dance, but basically we need dancers to form that first group so that we qualify for having a section of the council here. This I feel would give a platform to the local artists and we will also get opportunities to invite artists from outside. Dance is basically about sharing joys and creativity - and bringing communities together - that’s the whole idea.”

A world of dance in Dubai

Tripti has been organising World Dance Day celebrations in Dubai for the past four years. She admits that getting sponsor support is not easy as far as authentic classical dance performances are concerned. She says, “I’m hoping to get some good sponsors and support for the next World Dance Day. After visiting the Congress this year I thought why not have a platform where local artists could share space with artists from other parts of the world. I met a lot of individual dancers and groups at the Congress who were interested in attending the World Dance Day celebrations in Dubai next year.

I met a father-son duo from Ecuador and Mexican dancers who were really excited at the possibility of coming here. Dubai is on the international map everywhere - I met people from small towns in the UK, US and even the Far East and they all knew about Dubai!”

‘The dance is a spiritual progress’

Tripti is passionate about her personal relationship with dance. “I try and practise at least for an hour now; for us dancers the performance is not as important as the dance itself. The dance is a spiritual progress and my daily ritual.”

“I think artists are all very sensitive and now and then experience a higher spiritual level.

During performances at times we reach and feel that divine connection, which is the most beautiful moment of a particular dance performance.

If we can get the audience to feel that energy even for a second, twenty-five years of dancing on my part seems worth it.”

So what are her future plans? “I stopped teaching two years ago because I am concentrating more on being a performing artist, organising events and working towards dance and performing arts in that sense, not restricting myself to teaching a few people in one place but reaching out to more people in many different ways - not only students but connoisseurs, dancers, and lovers of art, and basically trying to bring artists together. So for me it’s a bigger canvas,” she concludes.


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