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Updated: August 25, 2013 17:20 IST

Kalaripayattu in Hyderabad

Neeraja Murthy
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Vyshnavie Sainath says with Kalari, one is able to control the body and mind.
Vyshnavie Sainath says with Kalari, one is able to control the body and mind.

Come September, Kalaripayattu, the traditional martial arts of Kerala will make its home in the city at dance school ‘Vyshnavie Natya Centre’. Vyshnavie Sainath who runs the centre was introduced to Kalari and fell in love with it. She says her learning period in Bengaluru was a significant one which helped her break the myth about Kalari. “We assume Kalari is very tough to learn. It is difficult but once you are focussed and put your heart and soul into it, you understand its nuances. There is a step by step process to the training,” she states. But how will Kalari help in Bharatanatyam? “When one learns Kalari, one is able to control the body and mind. It is all about the way you use it,” she says.

Vyshnavie learnt Kalari from her guru Sagar who is a five-time champion in Kalari in Kerala. Recalling her experiences, she says, “Kalari increases the wow factor and suddenly you find yourself balancing well and one is able to do difficult steps with more grace.”

She plans to train the students of her dance institute in Banjara Hills and Secunderabad in Kalari. “Ever since I learnt Kalari, I wanted to introduce it in the city and create awareness among people here.” She says the training pattern will be different for youngsters and women in the 40s. The young dancer warns that Kalari, the ‘mother of all martial arts’ is brutal for people who do not have their heart in the class. “One has to be mentally present in the class and train your mind to focus. You will not get if you are not a hardworking dancer. Kalari involves the whole body, it is more of dance, yoga and movement,” she says.

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