Monday, 16 April 2018

Bharatanatyam Artiste | Meera Sreenarayanan

8 Questions with 

Meera Sreenarayanan

Published by | Sathir Dance Art | Chennai | April 16, 2018 @ 9:00AM


Have you ever been to a place or event that changed your life?
As someone said, “the only thing that is constant in life is change.” Isn’t this dynamicity of life which motivates us to live more? Whether we know it or not, I believe that every instance, every experience affects our lives in who we are and who we will become.

I don't know it for a fact...I just know it's true...
If you aspire something with happiness and if you find joy working on that dream, then the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it (Paulo Coelho). Positive thoughts and actions will manifest everything you want.

By which artist, dance or otherwise, outside of your own discipline are you most inspired?
Raja Ravi Varma: His portraits and theatrical paintings based on myths and legends, unlocked the world of the Puranas to those who were not fortunate enough to read or hear them. He was the first painter to visualize Gods and Goddesses in a human form as we see today. Though there were many criticisms, he did not stop since he believed in his compositions and was always drawn by the unexplored.

Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra: I am grateful to modern technology so that I can watch his grace at least on my laptop anytime. Just watching his videos can create such an exquisite artistic satisfaction inside me, I wonder what would have been the impact of seeing him perform live!

Kapila Venu: I could not stop my tears, once when I watched her perform Nangyar Koothu. She is a living example of dedication and sincerity towards the art form. She literally can hypnotise me with her eyes and make me believe anything with her abhinaya. I would also like to mention G. Venu, her father and a renowned scholar who, during the course of a workshop (Navaras Sadhana) introduced to me the process of dissecting emotions and the quality of being a humble person.

The list can go on forever. I believe we can get inspired by everything that most people simply overlook. Once we begin to see not just with our eyes but with all our senses and consciousness as well, then the world is filled with inspirations – from a baby’s laugh, to a singer on the streets, to a group of folk dancers.

I always wanted to write a fortune cookie message that says…
A lifetime isn't long enough to figure out what it's all about. Keep learning!

Bharatanatyam Artiste: Meera Sreenarayanan
Seeing is believing?
Roses are red, Violets are blue –That’s what we see. But are they really? Red and blue are just the wavelengths of light that reflect from these objects and reach our eyes –the simplest example to prove that there are many layers of truth and beauty to what we see.

If time travel was possible, where would you travel to?
My answer would be different at different times. However, at this moment, I can only think of going back to the time of the Thanjavur Kingdom, when court dancer, Mannargudi Meenakshi performed before the Maharaja. To witness her art, her intelligence and the richness of a dancer’s life in those days. Also, to discover what happened to those dancers later on in life. Wish time travel was really possible!

What does dance do to you?
Dance, like a lover, creates butterflies in my stomach
Dance, like a parent, examines my deeds
Dance, like a comrade, gives constant company
Dance, like a rival, fights my reasons
Dance, like a baby, brings a smile upon my face
Dance, like a teacher, enlightens me
Dance does what not, when it questions my very existence!

A wise person once said…
“പേശലമല്ലൊരു വസ്തുവുമുലകിൽ പ്രേക്ഷകനില്ലെന്നാൽ”

“pēśalamalloru vastuvumulakil prēkṣakanillennāl” –Mahakavi, Ulloor 
"No single thing in the universe is competent unless there is a spectator to look on."

Audience turnout is directly proportional to growth of the art. Unfortunately, Indian classical dance faces the same crisis. We need a cure.


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Published by
Sathir Dance Art Trust
All Rights Reserved © 2018
Chennai-Amsterdam
Unauthorised republication prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Tribute | Anne-Marie Gaston (Anjali)

Published by
Sathir Dance Art

By | Lakshmi Viswanathan | April 12, 2018 at 9:00PM


Anne-Marie Gaston (Anjali), a well-known dancer and scholar passed away on April 5, 2018.
It is appropriate to pay tribute to her and her commendable contribution both as an artist, writer and researcher of dance. I knew her for decades and met her every time she visited Chennai. Her books are insightful and worthy contributions to our dance heritage. The Kalakshetra Journal was enriched by her several contributions. We will miss her as will the world of dance to which she was dedicated.