The Raza Foundation’s ‘Art Matters’ is a running series of panel discussions on arts and culture at the India International Centre. As part of this series, Malavika Sarukkai, the Bharatnatyam exponent, was part of a tete a tete with author Dr. Sudha Gopalakrishnan and the two bright ladies treated the audience to an illuminating conversation.
Gopalakrishnan, as the interviewer, put forth a host of rather unusual questions to Sarukkai to provide an insight in her inner self – a part of her that can be exemplary not only for dancers but anyone interested in exploring deeper questions of life.
Sarukkai said that Bharatnatyam was a language she used to express herself . She respected tradition but focused on evolving something contemporary from that and expanding the repertoire. In this process she may have broken away from tradition and experimented with various choreopraphies uncommon among female dancers. What has evolved is her own dance language where she dances with space rather than dancing in space. She dances as much with silence as with sound. The result of such exploration is perhaps her production Vamatara where she has used modern technologies like digitally operated lighting to enhance a pure Bharatnatyam format. She advised young performers to rise above mediocrity in their sadhana or practice.
Sarukkai said that her endeavour is not to entertain the audience. In fact, as an audience, it is not necessary to understand any art as long as one allows oneself to be free to enjoy it.
And this is the essence that we take home. As part of Delhi-Fun-Dos.com we attend a host of events many of which are new for us. However, we are receptive and hence ensure that any activity is fun / enjoyable for us.
The discussion was a humbling experience. Sarukkai proved once more that a maestro is worth all attention, not for their sake, but for others.
We are indebted to Raza Foundation for bringing such Malavika Sarukkai, the philosopher, to us.