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Does art have a religion?

Does art have a religion?

by Monarose Sheila Pereira May 18 2022, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 48 secs

Recently there was a row over a Muslim Dancer named Mansiya, not being allowed to perform at a Kerala temple. Artists from various fields discuss with Monarose Sheila Pereira, whether art has a religion.

Dr. Uma Rele, Principal, Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, Bharatyanatyam exponent

I believe art is beyond any religion, caste or creed. It unites mankind all over the world. Anyone can perform the art form they choose too. The focus should be on the art and not on religion. The basic principles of all religions are the same.

Anup Jalota, Bhajan singer

Temples are decorated with fine arts and fencing of mudras of artists. If any Temple objects to dancers entering and performing, they are destroying their own place of worship. I think it’s a serious destructive move as most of our Gods and Goddesses are musicians and dancers - respect them.

Terrence Lewis, Dancer, Choreographer

Dance is a form of human expression. I have performed the world over and I can say for sure that it connects human beings all over through emotions and rhythm. It leaves the audience feeling good emotionally. Therefore dance has the ability to unite people and make them happy. The dance is more important than the place. Therefore art should not be restricted by religion.

Religion is about goodness and happiness and so is art. Having always been strongly inclined to art since childhood, I was fascinated with dance, music, books and cinema. For here I experienced the world - I felt I knew people I had never met through their writings, and felt their joys or pain through their music and have lived multiple lives through their lens. And where word end, I start to tell my stories through dance.

Most know me through my dance, which has dominated the largest part of my adult life so far. I've performed almost all over the world, cutting across boundaries of cultures - through my dance I could connect with people so deeply. Such is the power of art, unifying us across languages, belief systems, traditions, caste and religion. And in this universal unity lies the sanctity of all art. Just like all Religions preach Love and Unity as the ultimate expression, let’s celebrate art as the expression of love itself. 

Shibani Kashyap, Singer

Yes I agree art has no religion. Indian artists find it difficult to perform in Pakistan and Pakistani artists find it difficult to perform in India. There used to be this beautiful program called Aman Ki Asha and it ran into trouble. I truly believe art has no religion.

Sandip Soparrkar, Dancer and choreographer

Art unites and binds people, it is known to build bridges and open windows - in other words, “kala jodti hai todti nahi hai.” It’s said that Dance has no language because everyone understands its beauty once they are soaked in it. Religion is man made; dance is god made - when a child is born it moves its hands and feet, it dances. Our blood dances in the body and our breath dances too – it’s only later that a child is made to follow a religion. So art should not be a part of any religion because to me art is universal. It is a religion in itself. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.