“Indian Classical dance forms prepare both the body and mind for learning and facing the world with more confidence”
says Kanchan Maradan to Priyanka Singhal
Kanchan: I have always been passionate about dance. There is nothing that drives me more. The business was conceived in collaboration with my brother who lives in India. I decided to go ahead with this concept because the choices and variety that this venture offers is simply marvelous. And I love ethnic Indian wear. I wish I had such a choice years’ ago. I can put myself in my customers’ shoes. … So you can say that I am not just a business partner but also a hard-core endorser of the Ethnic Indian wear. And I’m overwhelmed to share this endless variety with the Indian Diaspora and anyone interested in Ethnic Indian wear.
ED: Now that you are involved in a new business, how do you think will you be following your passion for dancing?
Kanchan: My priorities still remain intact. And my dancing career is my first priority and will remain so always. Being involved with my brother in the business, I really do not have to be so worked up about it. As and when required I would be more than happy to help him. With the advent of this entire online thing and as it has already been set up in my case, well, it can no way affect my dancing.
ED: Having started the training for Bharatnatyam at a very tender age of 10, how did you manage to balance your studies and practice sessions?
Kanchan: It would surprise you but initially, dance has been just a leisure pursuit for me and I would do classes once a week. Madhavi Mudgal was the force that brought into me the seriousness with regards to a career in dancing. I saw her perform in France (where I was living) in 1994 and o boy! I was mesmerized by her performance. Apart from that the deep interest that the French people showed in our culture instigated me to take up dancing as a career and before I could know I was into it with full gusto and enthusiasm.
ED: Who has inspired you the most and continues to inspire you?
Kanchan: I cannot take anyone artist’s name. All the artists inspire me immensely and I have deep respect for them. But particularly my Guruji Ms. Prerana Shrimali (doyen of Jaipur Gharana) will remain a great inspiration for me. The grace, perfection and dedication that are reflected in her, is something that I admire a lot. I am proud to be her student.
ED: Had you not been a classical dancer, what would have been your profession?
Kanchan: Well, I have varied interests, even though my only passion has always been dancing. So had I not been a trained classical dancer, maybe I would have involved myself in a business and would have been an entrepreneur. Another thing that has been able to generate a lot of interest in me is the study of new languages and I also love travelling.
ED: You are also trained in Indian vocals. Did anybody among family tell you about pursuing classical dance and music forms or is it that you always knew?
Kanchan: I never thought of becoming a classical performer due the stigma we had in India which is changing slowly. My ex husband, who was a good Cello and double-base player, encouraged me. He himself couldn’t pursue it as a career but wanted to see me as an artist. And Guruji guided me to take up other subjects related to dance like tabla, which I did for a year but it was singing that really appealed to me.
ED: You have worked with world famous Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles. How was the experience of working with him?
Kanchan: It was an experience that I will treasure all my life. It was simply fantastic. Having admired his work a lot even before I personally knew him, I was on top of the world when I was approached to participate in the commercial he was doing on the theme of bells. I’d worked on 2 other dance productions with his wife Ciça Meirelles who is a very good actress, dancer, etc. and a very good and dear friend.
Kanchan: Yes. It’s nice to learn different dance forms but one should be proud of one’s own culture first as that is one’s true identity. From my own experience, I can say with confidence that once you learn Indian Classical dance, it becomes extremely easy to learn all other forms of dance, because the Indian Classical dance forms prepare both the body and mind. It’s not just an art form but more like a meditation… It helps in many aspects of life. It disciplines you, makes you stronger, helps your brain to multi-task, and sharpens your mind and body… just to name a few advantages. I think everyone should learn some art form whether it is dance, music, theatre, etc… and if you are into Indian Classical dance, then nothing like it really.
ED: Kanchan, tell us a little more about your new venture Ethnic Wear India. Are you also offering discounts and free shipping facility?
Kanchan: We are offering very competitive prices. To make sure that our customers get the best we have put in a lot of hard work into sourcing the products from all over India. Right now we are looking into the free shipping facility for our loyal customers. You can just keep checking the website www.ethnicwearindia.com for upcoming offers. We keep updating it regularly.
Know more about Kanchan: https://www.facebook.com/justkanchan
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