By Mudassir Raja
She has not been in Qatar for a long time but she has already started making her presence felt. Her compassion for people and passion for dance keeps her connected with what she loves the most.
Bhavna Sagar Naik is a trained and talented classical dancer from India. After moving to Doha two years ago, she started teaching classical and contemporary dance to young children and keen adults.
Bhavna, an expert in Odissi dance, has been associated with Indian Cultural Center (ICC) as an activity (dance) teacher. She has arranged numerous dance classes and workshops for the people interested at ICC.
The dance teacher, who is also choreographer of Bollywood dances, is going to organise another workshop at ICC with the title of ‘Yoga for Dance & Contemporary Dance’ on July 9 (tomorrow) for two hours – from 5:30 to 7:30pm.
Community spoke to Bhavna, who aims at promoting contemporary dance in Qatar, about her love for classical dance and experiences with the art so far.
Coming from a family that has long been attached with the Indian film industry (Bollywood), Bhavna started learning and then teaching classical dance at a very young age. “My grandfather remained associated with Bollywood as an editor and a director. My father has been a Bhangra, traditional Punjabi dance choreographer. Both of my brothers are dance choreographers with the film industry. My mother is a Bharatanatyam dancer.
“Dance has been in my genes. I started dancing when I was as young as two. I started taking regular classes to learn classical dance. As I grow, I got interested in Odissi dance. I started teaching the classical dance when I was 16. I have taught dance to many celebrities and well-known personalities in India. I tried to build my own dance academy in Mumbai with the name of ‘Bhavna – The Feeling of Dance’.”
She could not run the academy for a long time as she had to move to Doha. “I moved to Qatar two years ago after my marriage as my husband works here. My first performance was at a Besakhi Festival organised by North Indian Association in 2017. Later on, I applied with ICC and got the opportunity to teach classical dance to children. I have already organised two workshops on classical Indian dances. First workshop was about Odissi dance and the other was about Bollywood dances. People from different expatriate communities attended the workshops. The response so far has been very good. About 30 to 40 people attended the workshops including children and women above 60.”
About her upcoming workshop at ICC, she said: “I will teach some yoga postures and exercises that can be connected with classical dances. Though I am not a certified yoga trainer, I know about yoga exercises and postures. I am getting further yoga training and will get certified in one year. I will also teach basic things about contemporary dance. For this genre of dance, the participants will dance on slow music, expressing their feelings and emotions through different dance steps. Though it is the time for summer vacations, I hope about 40 people will turn up. The registration is currently underway and I hope have more participants. I have noticed that the contemporary dance is not yet much popular in Qatar. In future, I will focus more and more on the contemporary dance classes and workshops.”
Despite having close proximity and intimacy with Bollywood, Bhavna choose not to be a part of the film industry. ‘I have taught many Bollywood celebrities and well-known people in Mumbai. Many people asked me to become a part of Bollywood but I was never inclined towards the industry. I want to remain connected with the people through dance and teaching dance. I know that I have a passion for the dance. People tell me that I am a compassionate teacher. I love to be among people. I make sure that the participants leave only after they learn something new about the classical dance. I want to spread the classical dance in Qatar among the people of different communities.”
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