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Updated: December 23, 2010 21:02 IST

Firm steps to fame

Savitha Gautham
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Vyshnavie Sainath.
Vyshnavie Sainath.

Vyshnavie Sainath will combine Bharatanatyam and Odissi

She's just 21 and has already made quite a name for herself as a Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancer. Vyshnavie Sainath is at ease balancing the twin genres and a degree in Journalism at St. Francis College in Hyderabad. “I want to become a dance critic some day.”

Tall, slim and elegant, this young achiever has successful parents to emulate. Mother and guru Rajeswari Sainath is an established name in the Bharatanatyam field and father Sainath, a First Class cricketer.

Vyshnavie, whose romance with adavus and abhinaya began when she was just three, is all set to take the stage this Season with Bharatanatyam (‘Madurai Meenakshi') and Odissi (‘Temple Dance of East India'), in a single recital. The performance is scheduled for December 25, 2 p.m. at Narada Gana Sabha.

In a freewheeling chat, Vyshnavie says, “I've returned from Bhubaneswar after a 10-day rigorous training session with my Odissi guru Durga Charan Ranbir. I have been practising hard with my mother and from December 5, I have been learning new laya patterns from guru Karaikkudi Mani.”

Vyshnavie got hooked to Odissi when she watched a recital by Guru Ranbir's students two years ago. “I was drawn to the dance form for its beauty of movement, intense abhinaya and subtle nuances. I think learning the art has helped me internalise my emotions better.”

So what will her repertoire comprise? “I will follow the Margam format in both the genres. For the Odissi segment, I've chosen pieces which will showcase the different dance postures found at the Konark Temple in the traditional format of Sthayi, a Kalavathi pallavi, and Oriya abhinaya on Lord Jagannath, and Moksha. In Bharatanatyam, I am presenting a varnam on Madurai Meenakshi (the story of Madurai and Meenakshi's marriage to Sundareswarar) in Hindolam and Hamsanadham, with lyric by Kavi Kannan, conceived by Guru Karaikkudi Mani and choreographed by my mother. Actually, every Season, Guru Mani comes up with something new for me.”

Between travelling, college and hanging out with friends, when does she find time to practise? “Early mornings and late evenings. Otherwise, I get an earful from my mother. Especially when the Season is round the corner, she gets very worried if I do not practise enough.”

The youngster idolises every senior dancer she has watched be it Leela Samson, Chitra Viswesvaran, Priyadarsini Govind or Alarmel Valli, but has no role model. “I learn from every dancer I watch, including my mom's students. My motto is simple: dance, dance and have fun!”

Vyshnavie will perform on December 28, 6 p.m., for Kartik Fine Arts and January 3, 2011, 7.30 p.m., for Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.

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