Vineeth is both actor and dancer. Though he is not a frontrunner in films, he believes he is ‘blessed'
Two things are making actor Vineeth smile these days. One, the release of his latest film, ‘Ideal Couple' shortly and the other, the completion of his Master's degree in Dance. “Both, films and dance, are going fantastically well. The PG course has been an enriching experience,” says the actor about his twin careers as an actor and a dancer. He was in the city to perform at the Mahadeva Kshethram in Mararikulam on Sivarathri.
But then there are only a handful of actors who yoke the stage and the screen as effortlessly as Vineeth. He tasted success in good measure as a debutante with I. V. Sasi's 'Edanilangal' in 1985 and 'Nakhakshathangal' the following year but later found the spotlight missing. That has not disillusioned him. He has handled the highs and the lows of his career with commendable maturity. “I have had success and failures but I have been getting good films,” he says pragmatically.
No short cuts
There is no doubt that whatever role Vineeth has essayed he has given it his best shot. There are no short cuts for him in work, he believes firmly. And that's the reason he has pursued his Master's degree even after being an established professional dancer. “It was a tough syllabus. We had theory papers on temple architecture, philosophy, Natyashastra. Initially I never thought the course, by Sastra University, would be so intense. But the beauty of learning was studying under the director, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam.” She is his revered guru . In Meenakshi Kalyanam where he danced alongside her as Shiva, he remembers being mesmerised by her performance. “It was almost spiritual,” he says in deference.
He now performs ‘Bharatanrithyam', the dance based on Dr. Padma's thesis on ‘karanas' in Indian dance and sculpture. “For me the application of these dance techniques creates magic”, he says explaining that according to Dr. Padma the 108 karanas, which is the basic unit of dance, are actually movements and not just static poses.
At 42, Vineeth seems to have found the perfect balance between the two worlds of screen and stage. But was making an initial choice a dilemma for an academically good student who had registered for CA in 1991?
Vineeth recalls a childhood steeped in the fine arts, encouraged by his highly qualified advocate- doctor parents. It was ‘pappiamma', actress Padmini, his aunt, who fanned the burning embers of dance in him. The starry world beckoned him with a few unexpected film roles that turned major hits. Dance stirred him like no other emotion. The choice then was perhaps merely flowing with the tide.
“Dance gives you the power to decide. From the time I remember I have grown up with it. It involves passion, talent and commitment. I have all that. At the moment people accept me as a dancer and an actor. I am blessed to be accepted in both fields,” he says thrilled that his five- year- old daughter, Avanti is following in his footsteps.
For an unforgiving industry that measures stars by the hits they deliver, Vineeth has taken the lull in his career in good stride. With the commercial success tag missing, he confesses that he is clueless about PR and marketing, something which is essential in promoting a film. “I have not got as many good films as I used to. But a sensitive film of mine, like ‘Banaras' lost out because of poor marketing. It is also the fate of a film, he rues. But then he is proud to have worked with the best in the industry and laments that there is a dearth of good writers in the current film scene.
Hoping that it is a passing phase in the industry and in his career, the actor with his stylish looks and elegant demeanour is “blessed”, a word he repeats often, that the audiences have accepted him as an actor and a dancer.