Some say dancers have a shelf life, others say they are eternal. People have their own way of talking about a dancer’s life and how long it will last or should last. When a dancer is still blossoming and learning his or her skills, experts always make predictions about the future of a dancer. Some are called Lambi Race ka Ghoda (will go a long way) and others not as long may be. Critiques and gurus always come forward to support a particular dancer who they feel has the fire and spark and will make them and the country proud.
Today I am happy to talk about one such exceptionally talented dancer from Kolkatta – Supratim Talukdar, often called The hottest Bharatanatyam dancer by many renowned dance exponents and scholars. But the title has not affected him at all. “I am aiming to create a new era in Bharatanatyam through my experimental perseverance and improvisations, that will help connect with the mundane and everyday life with smartness on stage, which I try and bring out during each of my performances. Uday Shankar Dance festival invited me to perform for them, and I was over the moon when I got to know that I was the youngest solo performers that year.”
All of 26 years, Supratim has impressed one and all with his extraordinary talent, great looks and well-maintained body that adds a lot more value to his performance. He began learning dance at 3, learnt from a number of gurus. AT an age when most kids are playing with toys, Supratim started playing with ghungaroos and the time when most children start to speak a few words this young man started to learn the songs and taal of dance. Guru Sri Avoy Paul spotted his passion and fire and decided to groom him. Thus began Supratim’s tryst with destiny.
Praising this bundle of talent, noted Bharatanatyam exponent Padma Bhushan Saroja Vaidhyanathan says, “Supratim is brilliant dancer who retains the purity of the art, its grace and essence. His techniques are excellent and his presentation of abhinaya and bhava is something to watch out for. He has also performed for my Shivarghyaa Dance Festival, a nationwide festival of male dancers. Each time I have seen him dance he has left me mesmerised and asking for more.”
Renowned theatre director Kulvinder Bakshish says, “I first saw Supratim dance on social media platform and I was floored with his astonishing talent, I immediately tracked him down and offered him to work with me in the near future. He is one artiste who will add a lot more value to my plays and creations, I am so looking forward to casting him in my next production.”
A post graduate in dance, Supratim has enough command over of his masculine spirit and articulation in dance which is clearly visible in all his performances and stage shows. His desire to make a name for himself in the world of dance has made him work doubly hard on his skills which lead him to perform for honorable Governor of Jharkhand Shrimati Daraupadi Murmu and also for the Japanese conglomerate when they visited India.
He bagged The Best Dancer award at many dance championships, including the All India Dance Competition organised by Nritya Navin, Dover Lane Music and Dance Competition and also at various dance events organised by the Government of West Bengal Tathya Kendra. Apart from Bharatanatyam, Supratim has also trained in creative dance, Rabindranritya and Kalaripayattu making him a dancer to watchout for.
The young and dynamic dancer is currently learning dance under the expert guidance of Shrimati Sujatha Ramalingam. Talking of his guru and mentor he says, “I place my teacher at the highest pedestal not only because she is incomparable but because I truly believe in the shloka Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara, Guru Sakshat Parabrahma, Tasmai Shri Gurvey Namaha and I know by doing so I can reach to the divinity of the art form.”
He further adds, “Whatever I am today, and where ever I have reached is all because of the hard work my gurus have put into me. To me guru is the dispeller of darkness – ‘gu’ means darkness and ‘ru’ the remover and each guru has removed the darkness of ignorance and has gifted me with the light of dance.”
It is not just learning various styles of dance forms that have made Supratim reach to this level but he has taken special efforts to further adorn his praiseworthy skills of acting by learning drama under theatre personalities like Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee late Uma Ganguly and thespian Manish Mitra who is known for spear heading the idea of creating alternative space for theatre performances in West Bengal. Performance of Supratim have also appeared on various television channels making him an artist to reckon with.
With so much happening around him, the world surely has changed for this young dancer but it has not mellowed his craze in any aspect, flooded with offers from all over the globe, he now tutors a bunch of young Bharatanatyam aspirants whom he very endearingly calls “dance buddies”.
This live wire dancer is still discovering and rediscovering the nuances of Bharatanatyam and is in constantly learning from various dance gurus around the world. His experiences are based on modern dance skills and he wishes to take this further into the world and seeks everyone to explore with him the dance – bodily and spiritually.
Dressed in the traditional dhoti and decorated with jewels when Supratim steps on stage first thing that everyone observes is his well-toned muscular body, chiseled torso, bulging biceps, six pack abs and his golden glowing skin and when he starts to move all one can see is perfection moving to the rhythm of the Mridangam. This is the aura that very few gifted artists carry and Supratim Talukder.
Sandip Soparrkar is a World Book of Record holder, a well-known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with three National Excellence awards and one National Achievement Award by the Govt of India. He is also the recipient of Rabindranath Tagore Prize for Social Achievement. He can be contacted on [email protected].