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Dancing symphonies

One of the most important things for anyone to do is to follow one's dreams. It is the only thing that can make extraordinary people out of ordinary individuals.

Written by Rohan Swamy |
April 22, 2009 1:01:35 am

Danseuse Shashikala Ravi,who will be presenting the Ramayan through Bharatnatyam,talks of the importance of following your dreams

One of the most important things for anyone to do is to follow one’s dreams. It is the only thing that can make extraordinary people out of ordinary individuals. I think the only thing that I have ever done is follow my dance and my passion for it blindly,and that,I think has been the main reason for whatever I have achieved till now. This same passion drives me on to accomplish even more than what I have achieved till now,” says bharatnatyam danseuse Shashikala Ravi about her passion for dancing.

Ravi is an accomplished bharatnatyam dancer and will be performing the Ramayana on Saturday,April 25. Speaking about her forthcoming performance,she says,“We decided to portray the Ramayana through bharatnatyam because the treatise tells a tale of goodness and upholding moral values,which I am sure will strike a chord with today’s generation. We will be highlighting various key points of the Ramayana through the performance and will also have a narration of events to keep the audience involved and help them understand all the narrative.”

“A total of six of my students,along with me and four live musicians will be performing the show at the Symbiosis Vishwa Bhavan. The programme is being held to commemorate the World Dance Day. All of us will be performing varied roles and will not have any fixed roles. After the initial invocation of Lord Ram,the performance will go on for one-and-a half hours. Basically,we wish to portray the values of honesty,love,faith and compassion through this dance form,” she adds.

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Ravi,who holds a degree in Zoology says that it wasn’t a difficult decision for her to quit teaching in Delhi to become a full-time dancer. “I was good in academics but knew my real happiness lay in taking my dance form to people around the world and also in my own country. I was doing well as a teacher,but somehow I knew that dance had always been my calling. After quitting teaching,I began to teach bharatnatyam to students here,and also gave demonstrations in Germany and Sri Lanka and various cities in India. I began choreographing dance dramas like Sant Darshan,Shiv Mahima and Dashavatar,” she adds.

Speaking about the current scenario,vis-a-vis music and dance,she says,“I feel that dance forms and music and culture are fast losing their importance among the youth. A probable reason for this is the fact that students themselves don’t have much time to pursue it with whole-hearted devotion. Also,there is lack of very good gurus to disseminate the knowledge without craving for commercial or monetary benefits. In many ways,even though the situation is bad,the youth not only here in India,but also abroad are genuinely interested in pursing varied forms of Indian dance and music forms.”

She says it’s important for youngsters to realise their true self-worth and how important it is to give their own dreams a chance. “The very fact that we dream gives us a reason to fight for them and work hard to see them take shape. It is one of the most satisfying feelings to be able to do what a person likes and follow one’s heart without any inhibitions. There can be no greater joy compared to that,” she adds with a flourish.

(Shashikala Ravi and her students will perform at the Symbiosis Vishwa Bhavan on Saturday,April 25 from 6.30 pm onwards.)

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