Do not be mistaken by her petite frame. Nikolina Nikoleski is a multifaceted lady. Dancer, choreographer, teacher... classical ballet, contemporary dance, Bharatanatyam, yoga... dance professor at the French Embassy in Delhi and Head of the Performing Arts Department, Father Agnel School, Delhi are some of her coveted laurels. Bringing in a new wave of 'alternative' entertainment to the wedding industry, Bigindianwedding.com in an exclusive interview with the lady in question herself.
You learnt contemporary dance in Germany and then Bharatanatyam in India. How has been the journey so far? The journey has been the most precious, enriching and overwhelming journey of my life. Having been born and brought up in the Western world, with its ideals, culture, education and dance techniques, encountering classical Indian Bharatanatyam was the zenith of my life. It opened me to newer and higher things in life. In short, you can call it 'the moment' in my life.
You seem to have a strong India connect. Not just a Bharatanatyam expert, but you are also a yoga exponent. Any particular reason for this attraction? Since the tender age of 4, I've been involved in different forms of physical and creative body/mind expressions. It all began with rhythmic gymnastics, followed by classical ballet and contemporary dance under the legendary late Pina Bausch. India and her culture had always intrigued me. The different dance forms, especially Bharatanatyam, its manifestations and interpretations simply left me mesmerized. About yoga, the entire world knows about it and its benefits. Yoga was and is still a part of my daily dance routine. It will remain an essential part of my life as it keeps me fit and flexible along with an amazing stamina. Both Bharatanatyam and yoga provide me the perfect medium to express my creative potential. I feel greatly honored that I'm able to do my bit for Indian culture and philosophy.
In India, the tradition of inviting Bollywood stars and celebrity DJs at weddings are a common sight. But artists like you are whiff of fresh air. Kindly comment on the same. Thank you. Yes, it is true that Bollywood dancing and DJs are the most common forms of entertainment in Indian weddings. But I feel that the greatest strength and beauty of India lies in her classical forms of dance and music. In fact, these forms are the main source of inspiration for Bollywood choreographers, fusion music composers and Djs. These ancient forms are the real treasure for the country. I sincerely believe that India should focus on promoting the classical forms and present them in a contemporary fashion to attract today's generation.
The Indian wedding scenario is a big booming industry. How do you see yourself getting involved in the same in the coming future? Are people becoming more accommodating of this 'alternative' form of entertainment? I completely agree that the Indian wedding industry is a big one and increasing at a steady pace. While Bollywood stars and Djs have their own demand, my personal experience shows that the demand for classical art is increasing at a healthy rate, and that people are interested in it in the form of wedding dance, skit etc. Be it Western classical ballet or classical Indian (in my case, Bharatanatyam), Indian audiences are gladly opening their arms. A classical dance performance exudes a special note of grace, poise, beauty, glamour, perfection, dignity and sensuality. For a lifetime occasion of a wedding, what better way to culminate the very essence through a mesmerizing classical dance form?
What can we expect from you in the near future? What are you working on currently? Currently, I'm choreographing a new dance theatre production 'Brand Life' as well as working on several new pieces in collaboration with different esteemed artists. Weddings, dance festivals both in India and abroad, special events are some of the other projects that I'm occupied with in the coming season. Finally, a special treat for all my fans will be a solo performance accompanied by beautiful opera singer Mrs. Christine Matovich (who also starred in Slumdog Millionaire).