Saturday, May 25, 2024

An interview with Sanket Panchal- Indian choreographer

Robin Bhuyan (Editor)

Sanket Panchal is a well-known Indian choreographer, hailing from Mumbai. He has embarked on a captivating tour across India, conducting workshops, to impart his knowledge, in various parts across the country, including Guwahati. Enigmatic Horizon had the opportunity to have a dialogue with him regarding his career, his obstacles, as well as his perspectives on the world of dance and choreography. Join us as we learn more about Mr Panchal, and his story.  

EH: How exactly did you start and what inspired you to take up dancing?

SP: I have been dancing since I was in forth standard. What really inspired me was Ganpati dancing during the Ganpati Visarjan and other parts of the festivals. I continued partaking in it, I began to realize that it was actually my true passion.

EH: Did you face any challenges? If so, could you tell us about them?

SP: Yes, there were numerous challenges. I began teaching young children when I was in 8th standard. So, as you can see, it becomes quite challenging to manage one’s studies along with doing the teaching work. On top of that I was involved in the annual functions at schools as well. There also was a time when I had to decide whether I would continue my studies or pursue dancing as a full-time profession. And eventually I made the decision to pursue my passion. Anyways, this is just a small part of my struggle. If I tell you the full story, it will take an extremely long time. Despite my struggles, I knew that struggle is a part of life, and it exists in all fields. And this is what inspired me to continue.  

EH: During your entire journey, what would you consider as your biggest achievement?

SP: My parents are happy with me and considers me a success, and personally, I feel that this is my biggest achievement.  Although they always knew that I was into dancing, they did not exactly know where my career would lead to. Even today, they are still not into social media and stuff, but they have realized that I have reached a certain point in my career. So, the facts that I am comfortable doing what I do, and that I have made my parents happy is what I would consider as my biggest successes.

EH: Which form of dance would you consider as your favourite?

SP: I wouldn’t consider any particular form to be my favourite. However, what I practice is open-style choreography, which incorporates elements from different styles.

EH: How has been your experience in Guwahati? Do you plan to conduct workshops in any other part of North East as well?

SP: My experience has been very good, and I have received lots of love from the people here. So, yeah, I would definitely love to explore and conduct workshops in other parts of North East India as well.  

EH: What exactly makes a good or successful performer, in your opinion?

SP: I would like to say that there is no alternative to hard work. One needs to practice, practice and practice, if they want to find success. As we all know, practice makes a man perfect.

EH: Classical style vs Modern style: which one do you prefer more?

SP: I would say that I prefer classical style more, because I firmly believe that we should stick to our roots and not forget them. I have learnt classical and semi-classical dances before, and that is why I know its value and importance quite well.

EH: But do you feel that classical dance form is today losing its importance?

SP: I wouldn’t say so. Those who practice it, and those who follow it, they still realize its importance. Even today’s generation have started learning its importance, and many of them are learning it.

EH: Do you have any vision for the long term?

SP: Not in particular. I would just like to focus on what I am doing, and take it a different level, if possible.   

EH: Anything that you would like to say about the industry?

SP: I can’t comment on that, since I am not someone who is inside the industry. I am among those people working on the outside.

EH: Anything that you would like to say to the upcoming generation of dancers?

SP: I would advise them to focus more on dance, and less on making reels, etc. on social media. We can see that the younger generation is too obsessed with social media, which is making them forget their roots. Today, when I teach children, I continue teaching them the same way I had been trained.

EH: Thank you, Mr Panchal. Enigmatic Horizon wishes you the best in your future projects.

SP: Thank you very much!

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