Take a Chance on Dance by Sabrina Dangol

Photo: Sabrina Dangol/

TAKE A CHANCE ON DANCE: Every afternoon, Subima Shrestha, 43, sets up her laptop and speakers in the living room of her house in Satdobato, Lalitpur, to start the online class for ‘Kathak’, a classical Indian dance form. The sound of beating ‘tabala’ fills the room as Shrestha carefully monitors the dancers via her laptop screen. “Everything else is online, so why not dance?” she says.

Shrestha has been a dancer, performer and Kathak teacher for 13 years. The nation-wide shutdown has been mentally and financially challenging, but the online classes have been a way to support herself, and save her studio. When the lockdown was lifted, Shrestha tried to open for physically-distanced dance classes in Lalitpur but had to close again when the new restrictions were imposed. In Kathak, the dancers are storytellers who communicate using hand gestures, footwork and facial expression. It is challenging monitoring all that online with a poor internet connection and technical difficulties.

Despite the challenges Shrestha perseveres, “The spark in the eyes of my students and their commitment to the craft is surreal to me.” In the meantime, Shrestha dreams of the day when the pandemic is over and she can be back on stage to perform and feel the energy of the audience again.

Text and Photos: Sabrina Dangol @sabrinadangol
Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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