Times when youngsters are swooning over Bollywood dance style, and training hard to imitate the stars, celebrated Kuchipudi dancer Raja Reddy says the dancing to songs in films has lost its charm.
"Bollywood dance is not what it used to be. Now they choose and pick dance movements as per their whims. One no more gets to see dance performances of the likes of Vyjayanthimala,” said Reddy.
"She was an excellent dancer. You see her dance performance in 'Nagin' and ‘Aamrapali’ movies, it was perfectly based on our Indian dance. The mudras used in the song are exactly what it should be. Sandhya, Padmini, and even Hema Malini were also good with their dance movements," insisted Padma Bhushan awardee Reddy.
"More than the younger generation, it is the parents who want to teach their children the traditional dance forms. They come to me and say that they don't want their children to follow Bollywood dances, belly dance or any other rubbish forms.”
"Sometimes even the Mother of the child will also join the classes to inspire him/her. Though I know with much of the time devoted to studies, it has become hard for children to cope up with it," said Reddy, who runs an esteemed academy teaching Kuchipudi dance.
Not much impressed by the recent trend of dance reality shows, the ‘dance guru’ says the only good thing these shows are doing is helping generate new generation's interest in dance.
"I haven't watched much of these dance reality shows. But from what little I have seen, I can say that they are helping in generating interest for dance,” he added.
Adding that a reality TV show based only on classical dance would be a "welcoming" move, he says getting proper training in the traditional dance forms will help the youth in understanding the "Greatness of India".