Dance

Dance in her bloodline, but more in her heart

Dakshina Vaidyanathan performing Bharatanatyam at Rasavikalpam.— Photo: K. Ragesh.

Dakshina Vaidyanathan performing Bharatanatyam at Rasavikalpam.— Photo: K. Ragesh.  

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When you are the daughter of Rama Vaidyanathan and granddaughter of Saroja Vaidyanathan, it is almost inevitable that you become a dancer. Not even a degree in electronics engineering could stop you, as Dakshina Vaidyanthan found out.



“I grew up in our home in Delhi watching my mother and grandmother dance,” says Dakshina, who performed at the Chavara Cultural Centre on Saturday on day eight of the Rasavikalpam dance festival that is being organised by the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi.



“But I became a dancer only because of my passion, not because I wanted to keep up the family tradition.”



Dance, her life



She realised dance was her life while studying engineering at the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Tamil Nadu. “I found out that I did not want to be an engineer and would rather take up dance as my profession, despite all its insecurities,” says Dakshina, a half-Malayali.



“I have been performing regularly since 2011, after I finished my engineering.”



Though she and Rama mostly do solo recitals, they have performed together too, on a few occasions.



“I know people would compare us, but that has not bothered me much,” she says.



“We danced together in Delhi few days ago, in a production she choreographed, titled ‘Brahmakalpa’.”



Choreographer too



Dakshina has already choreographed a few productions herself, such as ‘Nakshatra’, ‘From Zero to Infinity’ and ‘Cleopatra’.



“I like the creativity involved in choreographing, but I also enjoy doing the traditional pieces in Bharatanatyam,” she says. “It really is an evolved form of dance.”



She believes Bharatanatyam and other classical dance forms of India have the potential to reach out to more people, beyond the small circles of connoisseurs.



“In Delhi, I see a change, with more people, including Punjabis and other north Indians coming to watch Bharatanatyam,” she says.



“It is unfortunate that a majority of Indians fail to see the incredibly rich cultural tradition of their country.”





She realised dance was her life while studying engineering at the VIT.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:03:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/dance-in-her-bloodline-but-more-in-her-heart/article6580358.ece

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