Dance

My mother helped me carve islands of stillness from where my dance emerged: Alarmel Valli

Alarmel Valli

Alarmel Valli  

Ahead of Mother’s Day, the acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer talks about how her mother was her constant companion in dance

Leading up to Mother’s Day, Chennai-based and internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer-choreographer-teacher Alarmel Valli engaged in a conversation titled My Mother: My Constant Companion in Dance with Akhila Krishnamurthy, founder, Aalaap.

The conversation centred around Valli’s mother, Uma Muthukumaraswamy — or simply, ‘amma’ — who was integral in honing and shaping her as an artiste. She remained a fellow traveller in her daughter’s passion and pursuit of dance. In the Instagram Live session, Valli talked about how her mother instilled the importance of rigour, teaching her to always seek perfection in everything she did. Then there was the introduction to literature and letting her discover the world of books. The conversation also resonated because of its universal quality, becoming in a sense, a manual of sorts for mothers and artistes at the same time.

Fascinating amongst the stories was a story on how Valli’s mother taught her the art and the importance of just “being”. “Dancers need to recognise the importance of leisure to be able to deep dive into their arts. My mother helped me carve out for myself islands of stillness from where my dance emerged,” she said. The audience was thoroughly engaged, sharing their own memories of ‘amma’ in the comments. On request, Valli also recited a couple of verses from 15th-century composer Annamacharya’s Telugu Padam.

She also spoke about the frenetic and feverish pace that we all function in and reinstated the need to detox, and take a digital break every now and then, especially for artistes, is to find that spot of quiet from where it is possible to create something beautiful and meaningful.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 11:11:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/on-mothers-day-2020-bharatanatyam-dancer-alarmel-valli-talks-about-her-mother-and-how-she-was-a-constant-companion-on-her-journey-of-dance/article31550209.ece

Next Story