Await my magnum opus Param, a thematic presentation, that will be being revisited in June this year for showcasing the prime principles of Purusha and Prakruthi. They are the cause, origin, sustenance and end of the world, says noted dancer Sheela Unnikrishnan.
“Of course, Lord Siva, the cosmic dancer represents Purusha and Goddess Sakthi represents Prakruthi,” says the dancer who is the founder of Sridevi Nrithyalaya.
Style of teaching:
“The way I follow the Melattur style of training has drawn appreciation from all over. I am now planning to spread the message beyond the borders of Chennai,” says Sheela.
My mother is an ardent lover of dance and music but she could not pursue the art due to our economic condition. Hence my mother desired that my sisters and I learn dance. That is how I fell in love with dance.
The experience of teaching the students of Padma Seshadri School, apart from imparting training to my students, has been very inspiring. To most of them, I give free tuition with a social objective in my mind. I have learnt not to commercialise teaching from Dr Vempatti Chinna Satyam who taught all his students free of cost.
Being a little nostalgic, she also remembers her Guru Sundaram (disciple of Mangudu Dorairaj Iyer), who was an expert in Melattur style of Bharathanatyam. This style incorporates dramatically synchronised movements. She also remembers Dr Vempatti Chinna Satyam for his excellent choreographic skills and says that she has absorbed his aesthetic, fluid and graceful choreography.
With bonhomie pride, she recalls their group performance at Nehru Cultural Centre, London at the Royal Festival Hall and the opportunity to perform at the World Cultural Stage at London during Olympic 2012.
Her happiness doesn’t seem to know limits when she reveals that her new project, Prathamaanjalli, is on the verge of completion. The project will give a chance to budding artists, to exhibit their talents, she says.
“My motto is hard work, which never fails an individual,” she concludes. She affirms that she would not dilute the quality of presentation irrespective of any material benefit.
No doubt, Sheela Unnikrishnan is creating a new space for classical dancers of today since she believes that dance must be linked to life and artistes must use their unique position in society to make a difference to life and living.