For ballet lovers, actor Natalie Portman played the role of a princess with perfection in the flick Black Swan. While this classical form of dance has always been prominent among females all across the globe; the male counterparts too are not far behind; especially in India.
Sanjay Khatri, who started learning ballet at the age of 19, says that his involvement in this form of dancing was an uncalculated move. ”When I first came to Delhi, I wanted to be a model but ended up taking ballet classes. Though initially it seemed all too boring, I slowly started getting fascinated by the jumps and the turns involved in it and fell in love with it.”
On being questioned, how it felt to be surrounded a crowd full of girl’s while taking training, Khatri added “Initially I used to be the only guy in the class of twenty girls, though few guys joined in between but they left a little too early for ones comfort, I assume it was because of the inhibition to train between so many girls. However, the scenario has changed drastically in the last 7-8 years and now you see almost the same ratio of guys in the training schools.”
What has brought about the change in India and the approach of people to this form of art? To which Fernando Aguilera who hails from Argentina and has observed the turnaround very closely since initiating his training school in India in 1999 said “Guys used to be shy earlier assuming that ballet is an art made for girls. However, there is no dearth of opportunities now in Indian market, including movies and reality shows and that has opened the door for many aspiring performers. It’s much easier and acceptable for guys to learn ballet now.”
The art that requires a lot of strength and flexibility also demands a routine and diet that makes up for the wasted energy while practicing. “Maintaining your diet and eating food that is high on protein is very important. Ballet dancers don’t require any weight training per say, as their schedule is already very rigorous and demanding. Their body muscles gain strength with time and training” shared fitness trainer Vesna Jacob.
Gilles Chuyen – a professional ballet performer, who hails from France but now stays in India, is over whelmed with the interest shown by Indian men to step up to learn ballet dancing. “I think dance based reality shows have done wonders to the confidence of the guys and they are now open to learn a different form of dancing”. Does it also help in understanding other forms of dancing as well? “It sure does, ballet redefines your body movements and learning any dance style when you know ballet, becomes that much easier”.
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