Story telling

Paramita Bhattacharyya – Bridging the Gap Between the East and West of the World with ‘Kathak Story Telling Art’

For Paramita’s contribution to community involvement and socially responsible work, the World Record Book Organization awarded him a Certificate of Appreciation for Social Contribution.

An internationally acclaimed kathak representative with multiple awards in India, USA and London, Paramita Bhattacharyya is based in Los Angeles, USA.
Paramita Bhattacharyya is passionate about bringing the classical Indian dance form “Kathak – Art of Storytelling” to the world stage. Paramita is actively working on the mission of creating a new paradigm for Story Telling Kathak Art and bridging the gap between Eastern and Western worlds. A member of NDEO – National Dance Education Organization, she is the first representative of Indian Kathak dance from Los Angeles to hold the position of member of the awards committee of this organization in the United States.

She was honored by the government of Orissa with the “Nritya Bhushan” award in 2021 for her work in promoting Indian dance in the United States. Recently in Los Angeles, USA, Paramita represented Indian art and culture through her Kathak dance performance during the 75th year of India’s independence, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

After moving to the United States, Paramita took it upon himself to present classical kathak in an art form that told an interesting story to the locals and let them taste India’s rich heritage. She received the Certificate of Commitment from ‘World Book of Records, London, in 2021 for pursuing Indian Kathak art even during the pandemic through online opportunities, motivating young learners by demonstrating Kathak and proving her commitment towards the art form.

Spread the art
She performed in many festivals in this country and got platforms to showcase her art. Paramita attributes her personal dance style to her gurus, from whom she learned the art. “It has been quite difficult to educate non-Indians about the classical dance style”. When I first moved to the United States, it was a challenge to spread Indian art because these areas have very little exposure to Indian culture, where there is a thriving Indian community. I was culturally shocked, but the dancer inside me wouldn’t let me have a break. From there began my journey of spreading art instead of suppressing my artistic desires. I started contacting county recreation departments, libraries, parks, local ballet and tap studios, colleges and schools in Los Angeles and urged them to hold free workshops, dance lessons free, lecture demonstrations and exchange programs. Paramita Bhattacharyya. As a reward, Paramita won the “Savyasachi Educator” award from the Indian Dance Research organization in 2020.

Music transcends borders
“Initially, a problem I faced was the choice of music and style of costume. My audience consists mainly of the non-Indian community in the United States. theater and the performing arts unless there is a good why. They want glitz and glamor in a balanced way. So I chose the monochrome praise dresses and fused them with traditional dupattas and simple embellishments… It was a constant experiment to look modern and authentic,” adds Paramita.

Another problem was the music. “They don’t understand our mythology, and using Radha Krishna songs, Meera bhajans are welcome, but they are unable to decipher the context of the movements and the story behind them. So, I chose the music of the Indian classical world, like Anoushka Shankar’s Lasya, Niraj Chag’s Kanya, Fur Elise and Rhythmscape, to name a few. My idea was that music transcends borders and connects hearts. So why use lyrics? Let the music guide the soul and nurture the spirit.This idea worked wonderfully.They loved the fast-paced Indian music with powerful Kathak recitals and I started getting pleasure from every performance. “
Additionally, says Paramita, because of the melting pot of cultures and as a member of the UNESCO Dance Council, Paris, she meets dancers of all kinds of styles from all over the world who are willing to share their art on a much larger scale and platform. “This exchange also helps shape and nurture everyone’s aesthetic and dance patterns, giving it an all-encompassing feel.”

As for Los Angeles, Paramita thinks Indian art is limited to big cities. Indian consulates should give more opportunities to young artists alongside veterans for wider appeal.

The use of Bollywood interchangeably with Indian classical arts is another area of ​​concern for artists.

She says there is not enough literature present for the circulation and wider scope of Indian dance styles to blend with its Western contemporaries.

Government support is required
“A lot of work is needed from the government to popularize our Indian art forms on par with Western classical styles like ballet.”

And Paramita gives all the credit to platforms like YouTube, Instagram feeds, Facebook videos, Vimeo and movie software etc. for the fact that Indian classical arts are thriving and people are now “much more aware classical Indian arts than in the past”. “.

Establish a stronghold for Kathak on the world stage
Paramita is trying to strengthen the art form kathak on the world stage and to find an equal place for kathak, Indian classical dance, on the same stage alongside all other western classical dance forms like tap and ballet , which are classical dance forms from another part of the world.