Our culture is one among the oldest civilizations of the world and dance is an ancient and integral part of our culture. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, the oldest Indian civilisations contain ample evidences of this art form.Moreover,the oldest treatise of dances written by Bharat Muni, which is known as “Bharat’s Natya Shastra” originated from India. This treatise is so extensive in nature that it covers all aspects of human expression and its definitions can be applied to any classical dance. The sub-continent has given birth to varied forms of dancing, each shaped by the influences of a particular period and environment. Indian dance is an extremely intricate art requiring skill, hard work and tremendous amount of discipline. All Indian dances portray some expression of life and almost every dance posture has a specific meaning. Dance themes are derived from mythology, the folklore, legends and classical literature.
The two main divisions of dance are classical and folk forms. There are dance forms typical to certain parts of the country and these dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline. The various classical forms are Bharatnatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, Odissi of Orissa, Kathak, pertaining to Allahabad-Benaras region of Uttar Pradesh, Kathakali from Kerala and Manipuri from Manipur. The uniqueness of Indian classical dances is that they are all devotional in content. Of all these dance forms, Bharat Natyam is believed to be the oldest and the purest Indian classical dance.In the Indian legends and mythology the deity Shiva in a dancing pose is known the world over as Nataraja, The King Of Dance.
The dance of Shiva symbolises the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, birth and death. His dance is therefore the dance of the Universe. The parallel is seen in modern physics, which has shown that the cycle of creation and destruction is not only reflected in the turn of seasons and in the birth and death of living creatures but is also the very essence of inorganic matter.
Apart from classical dance forms, India is particularly rich in folk idioms. Each area has its own special varieties, be they martial, seasonal, ritual, sacrificial or celebratory. It can vary from village to village but they all share a common heritage of myths and symbols. “Folk” in our common parlance today indicates community and expressions that are spontaneous. The expression is total. There is little difference between verbal and non-verbal communication systems and techniques. Their expressions reflect their geographical postponing and their relationship to nature. They may be spontaneous expressions, innocent and done for no commercial gain.
The budding dancers can find employment in
To be in this field one needs to have an inborn talent, training and guidance can only sharpen these talents. Training in Dance should start as early as age six or less, much before the official professional training.
To take up a course in this subject the basic requirement is 10+2. However, for post graduate level courses graduation in the subject is compulsory. Courses offered in this area are certificate courses, bachelor courses, diploma courses and postgraduate level courses. Duration of various courses: Certificate course is of one year, Bachelor courses is of three years, Diploma and Post Graduate level courses is of two years.
Classical music is the most sublime expression of any nation’s culture, more particularly in India. In some communities of India, learning music or dance is a part of growing up, the reason being that even if one is not gifted with a voice or if one doesn’t have a talent for singing or performing, one could at least appreciate music. Music has a soothing effect on the human minds and psyche. It is a kind of meditation, the act of establishing oneself with the Universe and the Almighty. Other advantages include developing a good memory, opening one’s creativity and disciplining the mind. Lastly, it is an excellent exercise for the body.
Music as a career option has some limitations. There is not much scope for full-time employment. Most artistes supplement their income by working as part-time teachers in schools, colleges or institutions. Composing film music, playback singing, and advertisement jingles and performing for the electronic media are some of the other options. One also needs to remember that in every sphere of music, be it playback, classical (vocal or instrumental) or semi-classical or light music, competition is stiff.
Training in music ideally, ought to begin very early in life, under a guru. This is especially important in the case of children who display exceptional talent in their early years. The guru or the teacher is usually a well-known performing artiste or one who has had a long period of training under an established teacher. The guru may train students in a group or individually. When children are old enough to appreciate the technical nuances of music, they are gradually exposed to the technical aspects of music.
Almost every state has institutions for professional training in music. Some of the institutions are recognised or are affiliated to recognised bodies such as the Prayag Sangeet Samiti in Allahabad.The Department of Culture (under the Ministry of Human Resource Department) awards scholarships for advanced training to deserving candidates. Besides, private bodies too aid through scholarships for advanced training in music.
There are full-time openings for talented and qualified artistes in radio, television and government departments of culture and public relations. Appointments are based on auditions and screen tests, as well as qualifications. There is plenty of scope in private channels. Opportunities exist in schools and colleges as part-time or full-time teachers. Private music teachers also do quite well. If money is the consideration, playback singing and ad jingles fetch good money. Once established, an artiste may earn very well by giving concerts. Artistes are now being invited for tours to foreign countries. Apart from the experience, there is good money in foreign concert tours.
At the global level there are many other kinds of employment opportunities namely:
Solo Concert/Recital Career
Music Store Management
To acquire a degree or a diploma in music, major universities in India offer a Bachelor’s degree after successful completion of the standard 12 or an equivalent, which is five years long.
Commercial and Fine Arts
For a long time, Commercial art was never really appreciated as a possible way of earning a living. Even today, people have certain prejudices about it. But there is no doubt that creating something of beauty is definitely fulfilling and pleasing to others as well. Fine arts include drawing, painting and sculpture. These fields are each very expansive. Most artists choose to keep their talent alive but alongside take up another career, since there are very few options open where pure painting and sculpture work is concerned. Artists today wish to use their skills in other areas such as commercial art, which is relatively more popular.
A relatively new area – commercial art – is the application of different types of art media for commercial purposes such as – creating advertisements, billboards, book jackets, window displays, cinema slides, technical catalogues, packaging etc. Someone joining this field would not only need to be a good artist but also be adept in the ‘art of marketing and publicity.
Natural interest and talent needs to be enhanced with formal training since this helps foster and embellish the artistic skills.
Secondly, being in contact with experts in the field, one gets to feel the pulse of the industry, learn about what the career is like, what is to be expected of them once enter the business world and so on. One needs to really enjoy creating and imagining, this is one discipline where learning from others plays an important role in the growing process. One should know how to be radical in their ideas but be practical enough to create original, inspiring work
Art students have a large spectrum of options in front of them, ranging from working in art studios, advertising companies, publishing houses, fashion houses etc. A number of artists chose to be freelance workers, this allows for variety in their projects. Other relevant careers are teaching, direction, photography, television, clothing and fashion, as art directors for magazines, on-line services, software companies, publishing houses, manufacturers, advertising, promotion and product design.
There is only one Amitabh Bachchan, and only one Shahrukh Khan, but there are so many waiting to be like them, someday. Life for most aspiring actors is a struggle. Hustling from one audition to another they are constantly on their toes.
An actor’s satisfaction with the profession seems to vary with whether he is working or not. An actor once wrote that he found the occupation “challenging, thrilling, exciting, and wonderful.” Surely most working actors would agree with that. But the non-working actors would prefer to agree with the one who wrote that acting could be “a dead end.”
Nature of Work
Acting is a glamorous profession that rewards its stars with fame and fortune. Actors entertain and communicate through their interpretation of the different roles they play. However, only a few ever achieve recognition as stars – whether on stage, in motion pictures, or on television. Only a few are well experienced, known for their performing abilities. Most actors struggle to set a foothold in this profession and pick up whatever acting assignments they can, however small. Although actors often prefer a certain type of role, experience is so critical to succeed in this field that even established actors continue to accept small roles, including commercials for product endorsements. Some actors work as “extras,” playing small parts with no lines to deliver; still others work for theater companies, and some end up teaching at acting schools.
Acting demands patience and total commitment, because there are often rejections when auditioning for work and long periods of unemployment between jobs. Actors typically work long, irregular hours, sometimes under adverse conditions that the scene or film might demand. And of course travelling on the job, long days (sometimes months) on outdoor shoots. Coupled with the heat of stage or studio lights and heavy costumes, these factors require stamina. Evening work is a regular part of a stage actor’s life as several performances are often held on one day. Flawless performances require tedious memorising of lines and repetitive rehearsals.
The glamour of acting, directing, and producing attracts a large number of people to this industry. The supply of potential workers, coupled with the lack of formal entry requirements and prerequisites, will continue to produce keen competition for these jobs. Only the most talented, and of course the lucky, will find a place in this highly unstable profession.
Established actors can get anything between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 2 crore, whereas new entrants can get as low as Rs 50,000. There are times when new entrants to establish a toehold in the industry work without payment.
Unlike other professions, where if you have survived for ten years you’ve achieved a reputation or some level of financial security, in acting experience just means you’ve been working for a long time, and has nothing to do with talent or income. Some members of the profession will have achieved this and more, including international fame. For most, however, the struggle continues with improving their skills and getting work. While actors span a variety of ages, nearly 60 percent of all roles are scripted for people in the 20- to 40-year-old range. This is not to say that there are no parts for younger or older actors; the competition just gets fiercer the longer you manage to survive in the profession.
Aspiring actors regularly go to different producers and directors circulating their portfolio or going for auditions that may attract hundreds of people auditioning for a single part. They audition for everything right from commercials to dramatic roles, and juggle with paying jobs and (usually) non-paying acting careers. Most people continue to study acting by attending workshops, enlisting private instructors, and reading. New actors practice their craft by acting in smaller productions, or moving on to television if they cannot make it in films.
Acting doesn’t necessarily require training, but there are institutes in India, which offer courses in acting. The admission process in all these institutes includes written tests and interviews. There are a number of private training classes which train aspiring actors to face the arc lights. Besides, there are also specialised classes that train the aspirants in dance, stunts, and martial arts. These skills, over the time, have become essentials for success in the film industry.