Dance like a man

RAHUL GUPTA, 23, Dancer

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNJABI COVER STORY -

“Dance for me is a ta­pasya,” says 23-year-old Rahul Gupta, award-win­ning Bharat­natyam dancer who has stud­ied dance at Madras Kalak­shetram. Af­ter go­ing on to learn classical dance from names like Vai­janti Mala, Saroj Khan and Yamini Kr­ish­na­murthi, Gupta joined Priyawali - a dance in­sti­tute started by his mother in Panchkula which was later re­named as Kalalayam in 2008. Gupta was hon­oured with the Balashree award in 2009 and the Nitya Bharti award in 2010. This year, the govern­ment sent him to Hong Kong to teach classical dance.

THE JOUR­NEY It all started when Gupta’s mother tied a pair of ghun­groos on his feet at the age of four. “She nour­ished my artis­tic po­ten­tial,” says Gupta, who is a pro at Bharat­natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and folk dances of Ra­jasthan and Haryana.

THE CON­NECT Be­sides be­ing his pas­sion, dance is also his con­nec­tion with spir­i­tu­al­ity. “I will be at the peak of my ta­pasya when I dance with Lord Kr­ishna or the Kr­ishna raas,” says this de­vout per­former who idolises Kathak leg­end Birju Ma­haraj.

Con­tact: 9855425516

“My mother in­sisted that be­ing a male dancer would not af­fect my ma­cho quo­tient”

Pho­tographs by ANIL DAYAL

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