Thiruvananthapuram

62-year-old dances her way to title

Vijayam Gopalakrishnan

Vijayam Gopalakrishnan  

Vijayam Gopalakrishnan wins in senior category at Kudumbashree arts fete

She had not competed in a dance event since school over four-and-a half-decades ago. When she did return to the stage, she aced it.

Sixty-two-year-old Vijayam Gopalakrishnan from Thodupuzha won the folk dance senior category event at the Kudumbashree State arts festival that was held in Palakkad at the beginning of the month.

A dance teacher based at Vengalloor in Thodupuzha, Vijayam teaches classical and folk dance, besides Thiruvathira. She is also in demand from schools who want her to train students for arts festivals, school anniversaries and the like.

Dance runs in Vijayam’s family. Her elder sister Radhamani is a Mohiniyattom dancer, and another sister was actor Thodupuzha Vasanthi. Vijayam too has danced in movies such as Kanappanunni, Mamaankam, and Kadathanaatu Maakam.

In school, Vijayam had won prizes in the arts festivals, but she never did enter any competition after that. Part of the Akshaya neighbourhood group of the Kudumbashree, she competed in the folk dance senior (40-60 age group) category in the Kudumbashree State arts festival, and danced her way to the first prize. “I was very happy to have emerged the winner at the State event, overcoming 13 other contestants,” she said.

Despite having bagged the top spot in the block and district-level events, when she reached the State event, Vijayam started wondering if all of it was futile.

Harvest dance

“It was a Kuttanad harvest dance. But after looking at the costumes and make-up of the other contestants, my dress of blouse, mundu, thorthu (towel), and sickle seemed too simple. After I’d performed though, I received a lot of compliments. I heaved a sigh of relief after bagging the prize,” she said.

Her family too was delighted that as a representative of the 43 lakh-strong Kudumbashree network, she had done it proud.

“We won a prize in Thiruvathira at the district level, but not at the State level,” she says.

The mother of three is busy with the wedding of her second son, her husband Gopalakrishnan Nair having passed away a decade ago. Her dream though is to reopen the dance school managed by her sister Vasanthi.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 11:15:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/62-year-old-dances-her-way-to-title/article29933786.ece

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