Passion is not merely a seven letter word but it is that driving force which gives you the courage to leave your comfortable job, break the barriers of a secured income, step beyond the stipulated boundaries and create an identity on your own terms. Such is the story for our today’s post featuring Bindu Bolar who has opened up the gates of Tribal Fusion Belly Dancing into India. This interview will for sure recreate the energy in you to follow your dreams once again.
1. What was the first event of your life which gave you the courage to leave a comfortable job and open up an entirely new venture?
I can’t exactly pin point an event as such. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old. Always looking for an opportunity to dance. But coming from a very education oriented family dancing was never encouraged except for school/college events. Even after I joined the software field I was still dancing part time. But as time passed I realized I was not happy there, despite the fact that I was at the peak of my career. I even won best employee of the year award, but I was not happy. There was this void. A feeling of not being me, my heart and soul were always pulling me towards dancing. I think that void, that feeling of being incomplete, having something missing in me… made me put down my papers and take up my passion as my profession. The best thing that has ever happened to me!
2. What is your take on reaction of typical Indian people on Belly dancing?
Belly Dancing is one of the most new genres to have set foot in India even though its history dates back to thousands of years. So for an art form to establish in any country take’s time. The Belly Dance community in India, we are trying very hard to establish this as a respectable dance form. Belly dancing requires the same amount of passion, dedication, discipline to learn as any other dance form. There are various people in the country who have their own opinions and perspectives. In my opinion and based on the experiences I have had, well it is very saddening to say that people don’t respect this form as much as they respect other classical styles of dancing. Most of them see it as indecent or people feel it’s some male entertainment dance form.
It’s a 2 way road to be honest. Firstly people need to change their mentality towards the dance form and secondly the artist should be responsible towards the art form, provide correct information and do justice to it when presented.
Any dance can be made to look vulgar and cheap. It need not be just belly dancing. It’s a matter of how it’s presented and the general perspective and knowledge level of the audience.
Having said all this, I have seen the perspectives changing too. The past 2-3 years have seen a significant change in its acceptance in India. And also a lot of people are taking up this dance form either professionally or as a dance student or as a workout routine considering its health benefits. More and more people are getting drawn towards Belly Dancing.
3. The students come up willingly to attend your workshops or you have to put an extra effort?
Fortunately, it’s been very very willingly. They are very interested to learn, especially in the genre that I teach – Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.
4. Who inspired you to take belly dancing as your profession and what was your family’s reaction on it, were they supportive?
I am firstly a professional Dancer who also happens to do Tribal Fusion Belly dancing.
I love two things, very dearly… It actually gives me kinda of an adrenaline rush – Learning Dance forms and Being on stage performing. I started my career with Bollywood and moved into other dance forms. I am trained in Kathak, Contemporary, Hip Hop, BBoying, Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Jive and many more forms.
So having this craze to learn new dance forms bumped me into Classical Belly dancing almost 5 years back. But then I connected most to its sub-genre Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.
One of the pioneers in this form Rachel Brice (USA) has been my inspiration to become a professional Tribal Fusion Belly Dancer.
And about my parents!! Forget Belly Dancing, initially my parents were shocked with my decision to move into professional dancing itself. Like any concerned parent would be they were worried about my future. It’s difficult for any parent to see their kid from a software engineer to a dancer. They were aware of the harsh realities of moving from a fixed income job to an uncertain life of the artist. It’s not easy especially in India for an artist to survive. Each day is a struggle. But now things have changed, my parents are very supportive. I stood by my decision and have been working really hard. My parents have seen this and understood my passion, so are OK with whatever I am doing now.
5. How do you see belly dancing’s future in India?
Very Bright!!! There are a lot of young girls and guys taking up this form seriously. So happy to see this change in the country.
6. What is your message for the girls who are stuck somewhere and are not able to fulfill their dreams?
Hmmm … clear your mind. Make yourself strong. If you don’t stand up for your dreams and ambitions who else will? There will be people who support and there will be people who oppose. You can’t make everyone happy. Listen to your heart … follow your dreams. Work hard…. Work with discipline. Then your success will do all the talking for you! Once you are there you need not justify … your work will speak for you. This quote comes to my mind as I write this “The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”. So don’t stop yourself from taking that first step. Rest is easy. All will fall into place. Believe in yourself.
7. What conventions of the society you wish to break by your venture and how do you plan to contribute towards the nation?
You ask any Belly dancer in the country they will give you the same answer – we are concentrating our efforts to do our best to clear the misconceptions surrounding Belly Dancing and make it get the recognition and respect it deserves.
Also for me personally, I want to make people aware of Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. Not many people in the country know this form. It’s so alien to them.
My aim is to conduct classes, workshops across the country and make people aware of this beautiful mystical dance form. I have already travelled to a lot of places around the country conducting workshops and performing. The response has been amazing so far. I already have my own vocabulary in terms of my teaching and my styling put together as “The Tribalina’s Format”, which I wish to teach across the world. I also run a small accessory line called as “The Tribalina’s Tjori” which deals with the costumes/accessories related to Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. Working on spreading the brand name too.
I want to learn from my favorite International artists. I also dream of representing India in the Global Tribal Fusion Belly Dance field. It has been my dream to teach this form, perform and compete on a world platform representing India. Well the dream has come true. Very soon I will be travelling aboard to teach and perform.
I wish to contribute my part not only to Tribal Fusion Belly dance, but dance in general. When I leave this planet I want leave my footprints as a Dancer, Performer, Teacher and a Human being.
8. You’re an inspiration to all those who want to pursue their dreams, so to whom you would like to give the credit for your success?
Success! Lol! I don’t know how to define it. I feel I have a long way to go. This is just the beginning. It’s too heavy of a word to use. All I know is it’s a beautiful dance journey right now and I am enjoying every moment of it. I am so grateful to Tribal Fusion Belly Dance that it has chosen me. Given me an identity. Feels blessed to have the title ‘The Tribalina’ attached to my name.
But yes I would definitely like to mention that … I am who am I today, because of my parents blessings, best wishes of my friends/colleagues, guidance of my teachers, criticism of my critics and the Divine power I believe and have faith in.
I owe my life to these guys.