Dance like a man
RAHUL GUPTA, 23, Dancer
“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.
“My mother insisted that being a male dancer would not affect my macho quotient”