“Magic stirs and glides through the curves and postures, making a step perfect, for a dancer.” One such dancer in the making, who uses fingers and wrists to weave a magical effect like a conundrum, is Ashmon!
Hailing from a humble background to being one of the top 30 contestants of Dance+ season 2 this year, Ashmon’s journey is nothing less than inspirational, for all the youngsters out there who want to pursue their passions incessantly!
Tutting is a kind of dance done by arms, hands and fingers. It is an abstract and interpretive street dance. The dance form was highly regarded in the electronic and popping communities all around the world, in the late 1980’s. Tutters would usually include popping in their performance.
Shapes made while tutting depend on the routine, they can be geometrical, angular, symmetric, curved etc. Hands and arms are interwoven according to several geometrical shapes, one of them is called as “King Tutt” which is done at 90⁰ angle. When it’s done through fingers, it’s called finger tutting and the moves are known as Mini Tutts!
Finger Tutting was said to be modelled after Egyptian hieroglyphics. Jay Funk is one of the most notable finger tutters on the internet who started his career in 1999!
Ashmon’s Take on Its History
General notion is that tutting prevailed outside of India. However, Ashmon’s views on tutting are unlike others:
“Everybody thinks that tutting originated by integrating the signs or Tut-Ankhuman’s postures on the walls of Egyptian pyramids into dance, but it’s not true as I found out in a research that the Hindi meaning of tutting relates to Kamasutra and it’s an Indian art. Foreigners used the hieroglyphics in dance patterns during mid-20th century but it’s totally our thing, we invented the dance form! And I can even prove it!
We had this art even before the Britishers, when Hindu kings and Muslim emperors ruled our country. According to our traditions, folk art like Nakkasi and all had been historically dated thousands of years back, compared to the pyramids! I’ve other substantial evidence to prove this!”
About tutting as a dance form, “It’s challenging but at the same time, attractive and cool-looking. It’s a kind of addiction, if you're not a tutter but you love trying it, you’ll never get enough of it”, he says.
What Keeps Him Ticking!
When asked about his daily dose of motivation, he states that he’s inspired by himself, because he saw the blood and sweat behind the success stories of people rather than someone’s gold chain or a Lamborghini. He believes that perseverance is the key to achieving marvels and he builds on that hoping he’d be one among those marvels one fine day.
Motivation finds its way via love for this tutting prodigy!
Fifteen years ago, from today, Ashmon was just a regular student who loved studying, he was always in the top rungs of his class; this shows how studious he was. He dreamt about engineering and going to NASA was his ambition. At the age of 12, he made a helicopter that could fly. He had this creative hue of experimenting with things like cars and boats; he even ended up crafting a transformer car that worked according to his commands. The story took an unexpected turn here; he fell head over heels for a girl named Mona, his classmate. To impress her, he used to tag around her. Knowing her interests and preferences, was his only motivation to go to school. Later, he realized that she liked only good looking boys or those who were dancers, so he wanted to tune himself like that. Because of those avocations, Ashmon’s studies started taking a toll, he started losing concentration, got a backlog (compartment) in school, everyone around him were shocked, they couldn't figure out how it happened! Even then, he was relentless to strike a chord, that’s when he decided to become a dancer, and he did that in such a manner that there was no contender like him in Delhi at that time and his name reigned over, till 2013! He didn’t like to dance but he did it for the sake of her happiness.
One day, when he went to meet her, he found her in a very awkward situation with someone else, which he states was inexpiable and heart breaking. That moment, he was shattered completely; he backed out of intermediate squandering three months of his education in science stream.
A Dejected Loverboy’s Transformation, With A Twist!
He started dancing for his own sake since then. He never gave any auditions, but at times, he used to go for underground dance battles during nights, just to vent out his frustration in the form of dance. When he started getting noticed in these circles, then he vouched to get back everything he lost, through dance, also feeding his inner blaze that was eating him.
Then came along another girl by the name Priyanka who converted his aggravation into love and she became his wife eventually. He dances for her at present. However, the name he carries today, is a blend of his original name Ashu and his ex-girlfriend’s name-Mona, that makes him Ashmon. Today, Ashmon stands eighth amongst the top 10 tutters around the world and first in India, which is decided by the public via a YouTube poll.
Of Perceptions and Furthering Your Passion
“Parents always have the conceptions that their children should become engineers or doctors or lawyers like their neighbours’ or relatives’ kids, it’s the way which the world chooses to walk, everyone sees the profit or means of just making money rather than knowing oneself and emphasising on one’s strengths or talents. We kind of shape ourselves through herd mentality”, he deems.
He gave an example as, “I am a dancer, and watching me dance, 20 other dancers sprung up in our mohalla (just by seeing)! They may dance for one or two years and then drop out, spoiling their own future because they don’t have a clear picture on how to proceed and further their careers! They leave the art in between, spreading the word that it’s not worth your time and effort, and this is what exactly happens in our families and homes. Lack of dedication and strong willpower is the utmost reason why passions don’t sustain.”
Being an experienced contemporary artist with talent par excellence, he wants to give out a message that no one should pursue anything under external or internal pressure and instead go forward according to their interests and capabilities.
Time Has Arrived To Follow Your Heart – And Be Proud Of It
He feels that times are changing now and the generation that’s about to take the reins, has more freedom in choosing their paths for themselves. He’s happy and feels good that he could bring a change in people’s mindsets where he lives, his friends’ parents say that, “Son, what will you gain by just studying? Become like Ashu and make us proud by getting our names imprinted along with yours!”
The best moments he had in his life were the times he spent with his wife and friends, he receives the best kick when he sees his wife contented.
When asked on a lighter note about the forms of appreciation he liked, he said that he loves to get a standing ovation anytime, for his stellar performances!
YoYo Honey Singh Features In Ashmon’s Story
Ashmon is a big fan of YoYo Honey Singh; people even call him Lil YoYo! Apart from dancing, he loves rapping, video editing, sound mixing and drawing. Being a Muslim, he married a Pahadi girl; he is against regional or religious barriers intersecting the institution of marriage! He believes that to get married, only love towards each other matters.
Ashmon’s parents are not in the best of shape and have some serious health issues, yet he doesn’t want to give up on his commitment and passion towards dancing! He is ready to ride against the tide with able support from his fans or patrons. He feels that some push in the form of external funds would help him balance his married and professional life, where he can take care of domestic as well as personal expenses to better his talent and do more experiments to entertain us.
Goodclap wishes this uniquely gifted dancer in Ashu, a very prosperous journey ahead, and exerts confidence that he would bring indubitable laurels to our country amongst the world’s community of dance lovers and appreciators! A Goodclap for Ashmon!
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