YOU have seen her in 'Dil Vil Pyaar Vyar' and 'Tere Liye'. You have also liked her in Clinic, Pepsi, Videocon, Hero Honda, Lux, Dabur and many more ad films. Though Bhavna Pani is making a mark as an emerging actor, dancer and a model, she is not as known to people in her home state as her filmmaker father Uday Pani is.
“My father has been my friend, philosopher and guide but I have always wished to create an identity of my own. I have learnt the art of hard work from him but never been tempted to use his connections for my career. That could be the reason behind the delay in having my debut in Oriya filmdom,” explains the actress who has already been featured in six films in four languages - Tere Liye (2001) directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, Dil Vil Pyar Vyar (2002) directed by Anant Mahadevan and Fast Forward to be released next week (all in Hindi) besides Malayalam film Vettam directed by Priyadarshan, Kannada film Yuvaraja directed by Puri Jagganath and Telugu film Ninu chudaka nenu undalenu directed by Srinivas.
Bhavna has an enviable record of ad-films – Videocon, Pepsi, Hero Honda, Lux, Dabur, 7 UP, Clinic All Clear, Samsung Mobile, Nirma and Chloromint – to name a few in which she has worked with Shah Rukh Khan, Hritik Roshan, Sourav Ganguly, Saif Ali Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Amisha Patel and Tamil super star Madhavan. She has been one of the favourites of the famed ad-guru Prahlad Kakkar and internationally acclaimed cinematographer Santosh Sivan who have featured her in their ad campaigns.
Trained in Odissi and Kathak by the legends – Kelucharan Mohapatra and Birju Maharaj – she has also got due exposure to contemporary and modern dances at the Terrence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company and in Jazz and ballet from Jaan Freeman and Yana Tracy from London. Bhavna has been performing as the lead dancer in Sahara India’s ambitious production Bharati – an extravaganza on Indian dance, music and folk traditions meant to give the global audience glimpses of the rich Indian culture. For the past three years, Bharati is traveling across Paris, London, Berlin, Cannes, Brussels, Zurich, Vienna, Prague and many more cities.
Dance has always remained close to Bhavna’s heart. “I have realised that dance makes one a better actress. Vyjayantimala Bali and Madhuri Dixit have always been my role models”, she says. However, Bhavna takes pride in being an Odissi dancer. “Odissi is the most enchanting of all dance forms on this earth. The fact that Hema Malini wanted her daughters to learn Odissi and Rani Mukherjee also opted for Odissi proves how important is this lyrical dance form for the film actresses,” she reasons out.
“Whenever I think of Orissa, three things make me feel nostalgic – Odissi dance training by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the temples of Orissa and the beauty that nature has bestowed upon the State,” adds Bhavna who was born and brought up in Mumbai but loves visiting her ancestral village in Ganjam district along with her parents and siblings at regular intervals.