Nicole Harris: This is your first time participating in NACHMO Boston. What are you most excited about? What makes you the most nervous?
Geetika Bajpai: Yes this is my first time. Honestly, I am taking this first time with NACHMO as an "educational experience" since I am still new to the MA area (didn't get to know a whole lot and mingle due to covid since I moved here in Feb 2020), getting to know the fellow artists and their journeys, and getting involved in the dancing community is really a big deal for me. These are the things I am most excited about. I hope I can find dance partners who would be willing to dance to some bollywood tunes and create fusions of indo-western sorts ;)
GB: Yes, I began the group sometime in July 2021. The dancers that have participated in my group are all working women with full time jobs with kids/families to take care of. We all take time out from our busy lives just for the love of art. The name "Bawri" in a nutshell describes this love or passion for dancing. "Bawri" means crazy for or passionate for .. and in this case it's dancing. So Bawri is a group of women passionate for dancing.
N: You started Bawri in July of 2021. How did you come together? What challenges did you face beginning while we are still in a pandemic?
GB: I started looking for events to perform and given the pandemic situation, not many opportunities are out there to begin with for live performances. I am kind of shy to be on digital platforms (which I should), as in making insta reels or Youtube videos, basically not so big on creating my own stage through social/digital media. I love performing live with a live audience, even when the number of audience is less, pretty old school that way :) . Finding this kind of opportunity has been challenging with the pandemic and, also because I am new to the area. Another challenge was to find dancers who were willing to commit to practice for events and meet consistently for the same. Finding a location for practice that would work for all of us to meet and practice was another challenge. Given all this, I still consider this endeavor as somewhat successful as we got to perform at 4 events in short 6 months. I hope to find more events and connect with more dancers in future for performances.
GB: This is a great question. It's been extremely tough to manage both simultaneously, honestly. But it's doable at-least now, after being somewhat settled with higher educational endeavors with my name search leading to a google scholar profile :). Both science and dancing is about creativity and this creativity is the common denominator in the two. In science, a lot of creative thinking is needed to solve the tough questions and be able to apply the knowledge in creative ways. Isn't dancing the same? Be able to flow creatively and apply the movements in creative ways to create a peice. Another common denominator is being "immersed"
I feel both science and dance require being immersed into them. The deeper you go, the more there is to explore/learn and it never ends.
N: We recognize how important mentors are to artists at all stages of their careers. Who are your mentors and how have they impacted your trajectory?
GB: Many mentors shaped my artistic journey. My Kathak guru, the late Shri Reva Vidyarthi, had a huge impact in my early years as I began the training as a child. My arts teachers at junior high and high school years were very encouraging. My dance teacher in the early 2000s when I had joined a hip-hop professional dance troupe in New Delhi was very supportive. Hip-Hop was new to me totally at that time and he showed incredible patience and belief in me. I was fortunate to learn and perform at various events in Delhi. After starting higher education, a sort of formal training has been on and off but many artists have provided inspiration indirectly. I consider all of this equally important.