Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Artist of UNSEEN 2.0 - Eshani Sathe | Kathak Dancer
UNSEEN 2.0 is an unconventional form of exhibition which is a digital art exhibition curated by Platform For Artists . This enables artists across the country to participate, showcase their work and connect with like minded people. The entire idea is to broaden the scope of exposure which the artists would probably not get at an offline event. We have sixty diverse artists from across the country who are a part of this one of it's kind art exhibition.
Here is a set of questions team Platform For Artists asked Eshani about her everyday routine, her art interests and more.
Tell us about yourself.
A dancer, born to a dancer, I am Eshani Sathe, born in the house of Radhika Sathe and Kiran Sathe. I fancied watching Kathak classes, sitting shyly next to my mother, and at the age of 3, developed an urge to dance on-stage, that too a day prior to the students showcase. I had visually memorised all the nuances of the choreography, so since then till date, the visuals have seeped deeper into my soul. I chose to graduate in Computer Science, and finish a Masters in English Literature whilst completing my Masters in dance. All the while holding onto dance at the core, with the grip getting stronger. It was dance that was gripping me and my age. My first dance tour abroad, at the age of 13 , first pay-check at the age of 17, a National Scholarship by the Government of India, and meeting my Guru , all came with this artform to me, that gave me the bliss and content. Artists in India, that too of the 21st century are well educated, non-glamour stars shining in the bliss of their art forms, away from age old diplomacy of Gharanas. Righteous, with their Gurukul technique, and strong presentation skills . I belong to this generation too, and have been extending my arm, through dance, into the digital realm, with cameras translating choreographies into 4D designs . I stay just as rooted to my culture, as much as I fly free into the realm of possibilities, that technology has provided us with, today. Having performed across, USA, Europe and Asian countries, I have grown with a holistic view, which seeps into my artwork. Running a business, and an academy, for the education and promotion of art, whist curating art, has been my learning curve in the recent past. Dancer within, poet at heart, wanderer, and a mush loving, art lover, that is who I am.
What are your art interests?
My art, which is Kathak dance, is my passion and drug for life. I am a music lover to the core, and find it to be a stimulus on both personal and professional fronts. Being a literature student, I have known for a fact, the impact art has on our society. Moulding the present, retelling history, and bridging the gap across to the future, I feel art in all its forms brings about all this.
What are your views about the current scenario of art in our country?
I view art and artists, with a bias, and hence my opinions would not be any different. Although, I feel we are in one of the best era’s art wise. In a sense that, our strong culture, and the beautiful trends and science of art, be it visual or physical, that has seeped through it, has reached its rightful place today. Our fabrics, and textiles are on a global market, our dance companies and musicians, have long been on global charts, be it Zakir Hussain, Ravi Shankar ji, or M.F Hussain. We have booming digital artists, and traditional art forms have slowly started finding their way, over to the digital media, creating content for screen time, gaining virtual audience worldwide. Government of India, has made crucial contribution in bringing forth the traditional as well as folk artforms to the forefront in the last decade . Providing financial assistance, grants, and fellowships and scholarships, to the young and upcoming artists is a given. However promoting artisans, cultural awareness around art, and similar initiatives by the ICCR and Ministry of Culture, have been commendable achievements, looking at their outreach internationally. Be it at International Theatre Festivals, at Cannes or at the MET Gala, our art is transcending boundaries. The infinite freedom, and lack of aesthetics is what I fear, looking around though. But as a whole, I feel art from our country, has created its place within and especially out of India.
What are you working on currently?
One aspect of my career, is administration and curation at KNM , our Academy and Dance Company. My recent work has been centred towards, creating pure classical content for digital media, and making it more relatable to a wider audience base, without losing its essence. Be it, creation of learning modules for students abroad, or promoting our work over social media platforms, I have been researching into those spaces of this field. As a performer, my work recently has been centred towards, solo and duet choreographies and collaborations. In an age of freedom of speech, easy visibility to your work, and handy means of education for any genre, I have been collaborating and performing more for contemporary schools of dance around Canada and USA. Educating myself, around their visual aesthetics and moulding my presentations to cater to both the East and the West, has broadly been my spine of work recently.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Rumi, and Kabir, two lovers, who have walked centuries and miles towards us, have said things, very similar. One of which is, “ Almight/ Guru / mentor , whatever you call that one presence in your life, who inspires your spirit more than your body, is not one who shows you the path towards the light. He is the light.” My life has been inspired by birth, by my parents, especially my mother. A lady, whose journey of art, started with a rough road , and obstacles at the age of 22, and yet bloomed brightest amidst crossroads of responsibilities and duties. Her determination, purity of soul, and warmth, have been my constant inspiration. My Guru Pt. Rajendra Gangani, without whom, my existence would not be complete, is the light , I have planned my journey with , and continue to do so. His stature as an International Artist and a globally acknowledged performer does not line the periphery of his humble , and loving creative genius, and that is what makes him inspiring, on an artistic as well as a human level.
Which kind of artists would you be interested to collaborate with?
I have extensively worked with dancers, musicians and percussionists for collaborations till date, and the journey has been an exploration in itself. My urge though, has been to collaborate with contemporary idealists, or digital artists may be who have a vision completely different than mine. I have recently developed a new found love for fabrics, and have found it thrilling to understand how a drape/colour can change a personality or emotion, so would also love collaborating with visual artists or designers.
What's the first thing you do when you wake up ?
Reach for the phone, to stop the alarm, and then pull away from it . My mind stays clean and numb for a few minutes after waking up, a feeling I enjoy utmost. One quintessential ritual I grew into , has been to face the sun, and feel the sunlight, with adjoined hands.
Which is the most used app on your phone?
“WhatsApp” - handsdown.
Which is the one song you can't get out of your head?
Evergreen Cassette by Goldspot
You de-stress by?
Walking barefoot on earth, spacing the mind away from any thoughts or emotions at all . Meditation and workouts are some sure shot remedies to avoid stress for me.
You can check more of our work on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/platformforartists/
To connect with Eshani, follow her on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/eshanisathe.kathak/