'Audience has no time'

Sep 22, 2011, 11:22 IST | Priyanjali Ghose

Blending the art of filmmaking with Bharatnatayam, dancer Padmini Ravi promises a performance that breaks the notion that classical dance is boring

Blending the art of filmmaking with Bharatnatayam, dancer Padmini Ravi promises a performance that breaks the notion that classical dance is boring

Noted Bharatnatyam dancer Padmini Ravi believes that classical dance forms are deeply rooted in Indian culture and will never lose their charm.

The dancer, who recently made a comeback on stage after a gap of nearly eight years, will perform at the Bangalore International Arts Festival. She tells The Guide what works for the contemporary audience.

You are back on stage after a long time. How does it feel?
It is wonderful. The gap of  seven to years has actually helped me.  I am more mature and understanding as a performer now. The break has helped me reinvent myself as a better person and artiste.

What would you perform for this concert?
I will blend the art of making a film with the craft of Bharatnatyam. Film is a visual medium that has a story, screenplay and dialogues and communicates directly with the audience. You don't need to understand anything particular to understand a film unlike a classical dance performance. I will be tuning the art of filmmaking into my solo performance. It is a sizzling experiment.

Now that you are performing after years, do you find a difference in the audience?
The audience today has no time and doesn't want to make an effort. I don't blame them.  as the present lifestyle is so stressful. It is important to tell your children who Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra was.

Does today's audience need a touch of contemporary to watch classical dance?
If I am wearing an outfit like that of Michal Jackson and doing a Bharatnatyam piece, will you call that fusion? It is not about wearing a sari as people used to wear it even 500 years ago. The difference is in how you stitch it. It depends on how the artiste interprets the technique and communicates with the audience.

Is the classical solo performance  endangered?
It is a challenge for the solo performances to survive. For that the artistes need to constantly improvise to make the grammar of the art clear to common man. He also needs to have a 360 degree perspective of the art, music, sensitivity and interpretation attached to the dance form.

You have started teaching yogercise recently. What else would we see you do in future?
I am not a professional yoga therapist but I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years now. Yogercise gives you the feel good factor in mind and body that you experience when you learn how to dance. I would, for now, be concentrating on dance and would make a film in the next five years.

Where MLR Convention Center, Brigade Millenium City, JP Nagar 1st Phase
On September 24, 6.30 pm
Call 9482502814
Free Entry

5 things you don't know about Padmini Ravi
Hates feathers and   birds
Can watch movies all   day. Language and genre are no bar
Can't do without exercising, sleeping for eight hours and eating   sweets everyday
Can watch the performances of Pandit Birju Maharaj, Padma Subramaniamand and late Guru Kelucharan  Mohapatra any time
Loves listening to Amy   Winehouse these days

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