The girl who learnt dance through a webcam - The New Indian Express

The girl who learnt dance through a webcam

Published: 19th July 2014 08:39 AM

Last Updated: 19th July 2014 12:12 PM

BANGALORE: Technology has reduced distances and made communication easier, enabling artistes to share their knowledge across borders. Nowadays, one can learn almost anything by video-conferencing with a teacher through the free online application Skype. That is how Anoosha Sri, a 12-year-old girl from Louisville in Kentucky, USA, learnt dance from Mysore-based Bharatnatyam exponent Badari Divya Bhushan. The young dancer has flown down to perform at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan this weekend.

 Speaking to City Express, Anoosha's mother Mayura Srinivasa says, "She was initially training under dancers like Akila Iyer and Smitha Paily in Louisville. But the classes were held at the other end of the town. While the commute was tiring, we also realised that she was too advanced for the teachers' modules. That is when we thought of enrolling her into Bhushan's Academy of Performing Arts & Visual Presentation."      

 "She has always been an overachieving kid. Besides getting straight A's in school, she also plays the piano and performs in plays. She also takes Carnatic music classes on Skype from Rajalakshmi Gopal Iyengar," adds Mayura, who works as a project manager at an IT firm in Louisville.

 Anoosha's classes started last July and were held on weekends. Artiste Bhushan, who has been offering dance classes over Skype for seven years, claims to have taught her the margam for her performance through video chats. "She was familiar with mythological characters like Krishna and Yashoda and their stories that are often told through dance. Also, she was very comfortable speaking in Kannada and Hebbal Iyengar Tamil. It was easy teaching her through a camera," he says. The dancer adds that Anoosha mastered the sequences in four months.

 On the challenges that come with teaching dance online, he says, "Connectivity is a major problem, and so is the time difference. When it is morning in the USA, it is late evening here. Both of us have often had to stay up late for the classes. It is also a tad difficult to correct the student's mistakes without being physically present."

 However, now that Anoosha is here in Bangalore, she visits her guru on weekends for fine-tuning her moves.  We ask Bhushan if the trend of learning dance and music online is here to stay and he agrees. "Today's youth are becoming highly tech-savvy and teachers cannot afford to lag behind. I teach 4-5 other students who live abroad on Skype. In situations where the teacher of your choice is not at an accessible distance, this technology is truly a boon," he says.  

Anoosha Sri will perform at 4 30 pm at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on Sunday.

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