Expat classical dancer Nusrat Urmi finds ways to keep her passion alive
Nusrat Urmi started dancing from a very young age. During her formative years it was her parents’ wishes that motivated her to take all those lessons. But slowly, as she grew up, Indian classical dancing became an indistinguishable part of her life.
She feared that her life as a dance artist would come to an end when she moved to Canada in 2010. But Nusrat found a way to keep her passion alive. In fact, she found more than one ways.
A teacher by trade, Nusrat’s initial route to practice her craft in Canada was through teaching the classical dance to kids of expats.
The classes have been moved to Zoom since the pandemic, but Nusrat still finds satisfaction in teaching and passing on her knowledge of the ancient art form.
Proficient in a number of different styles of Indian dancing — from Katthyak, Bharatnattyam, Manipuri to folk styles like the Shapurey Nach native to Bangladesh —Nusrat accomplished a lot as a performer.
As a student of Dhaka University she received the ‘Blue Blazer’ acknowledgement for excellence in culture.
She also won gold medal twice for her contributions.
But Nusrat feels far from satiated. Despite over two decades of experience in learning, performing and teaching dancing, she set out to learn more.
Nusrat was eager to expand her knowledge of fusion and creative dancing. And she is currently doing exactly that under the tutelage of Tanusree Shankar of Kolkata.
She was hoping to tour Kolkata earlier this year, but like most people on the planet, her plans had to change for the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, she still has a lot to look forward to. One of these are the music videos she has been putting out.
Aided on the camera by her husband, and choreographed by Dipankar Dutta, Nusrat shot a number of music videos on the backdrop of scenic Canadian landscape.
Shot outdoors, her videos show different beautiful locations in Canada.
One of these videos, for example, shows a shari-clad Nusrat Urmi sitting outside in the snow and performing a composition over a recitation.
Nusrat hopes to shoot more videos, and looks forward to make that visit to Kolkata to perform alongside her mentor.
Pandemic restrictions thankfully couldn’t take away her own time engulfed in the art, however. She still finds joy and solitude when she practices or teaches, or indeed, still learns. “I can’t imagine a life without dancing,” she said.