Such a fine gesture!

Deccan Chronicle.  | Ruth Prarthana

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Pari Goenka’s dance school attempts to empower underprivileged kids by teaching them the classical dance form of Kathak.

Pari Goenka

These days, it’s quite hard to find teenagers without their gadgets and knick-knacks. But girls like Pari Goenka are of a different kind. For the love of her culture and its dance forms, Pari spent over 10 years learning and perfecting the Kathak dance form. She has also been empowering under-privileged kids through dance. Working with an NGO, she is doing her bit to secure the future of these kids. Talking to her we find more....

Pari’s Kathak journey started when she was only five years old. While she has a lot of memories, the one she holds dear is her first time on stage. “I was blown away by all the make-up, costumes and the anticipation of performing in front of people. All the nervousness and anxiousness vanished when I started dancing,” Pari only recently realised her love for dancing.

She shares, “I have become emotionally attached to it, as I have been performing Kathak for so long. Every time I perform, I fall in love with it even more.” Pari considers her Kathak teacher Sanchita Lahoti to be her biggest supporter. She says, “She motivated me to start my own dance programme — Nrityotsava. She teaches me new things every time we have a session together.” Talking to her friends and the kids at her school, Pari found out that, kids her age don’t really know about traditional dance forms. She says, “The kids don’t really care for these forms that have been a part of our culture for so long. It needs to be preserved. Through ‘Revisiting Dance’, I wanted people to realise the importance of all Indian dance forms.”

Premiering on July 5 is Pari’s Nrityotsava which will have over 50 youngsters performing various dance forms. Talking about the show she adds, “I’m trying to merge different dance forms with students who will showcase their talent. This is an effort to spread awareness about the various dance forms.” The proceeds from this show, she says will go towards the higher education of under-privileged kids from Colour of Life. Pari was introduced to this NGO through her mom who works there. “I have been visiting government schools once in two years. This time, I wanted to teach few kids to dance. Seeing their excitement to dress up, to put on make-up and to perform on stage boosted my idea of teaching them. They value their education and often worry about how they will do their higher studies,” she shares adding that till now, she has been teaching six girls the folk dance form of Ghoomar from Rajasthan.

Pari who is now entering her 10 grade shares that she is able to manage all of this only with the help of her school, Mallya Aditi International School who support her completely. An avid reader and piano player, Pari will also be a part of Nrityotsava. “I will be performing a pure Kathak piece which is an ode to rain. I am also visiting all the teachers and seeing how the students are prepping for the show,” she concludes.