Devoted to divinity

Within minutes of setting foot to the divine steps of Rama, to rehearse for her upcoming show Rama Charitham, Bharatanatyam dancer Mamatha Karanth slips into a state of trance.

Published: 16th July 2017 08:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2017 08:38 AM   |  A+A-

Within minutes of setting foot to the divine steps of lord Rama, to rehearse for her upcoming show Rama Charitham, Bharatanatyam dancer Mamatha Karanth slips into a state of trance.

Utterly consumed by lord Rama’s thoughts, she closes her eyes and dances away. Then abruptly, she opens her eyes and wakes up to reality.  “I am sorry,” she whispers. “This is not just dance for me. It’s a practise that keeps me alive,” she says with a soft smile.

The recital will showcase all those characters who highlight lord Rama’s many qualities. For instance Manthara, who was the reason for his vanvaas (exile); Guha his staunch follower who never left his side; Bharata his brother, who displayed extreme love towards him; Shurpanakha, who was instrumental in Sita’s abduction; Laksham, who steadfastly followed Rama; Hanuman, Rama’s ultimate devotee, and Sugreeva, a reliable friend. “I have chosen Maharaja Swathi Thirunal’s Krithi Bhavayami Raghu Ramam, which has six paragraphs that cover all the khandas (chapters) of his life,” she says.  

Karanth’s decision to essay the lord’s life came after days of consideration. The only way she can do justice to any performance is if she’s completely convinced about the character or the story’s merit. In this case, she couldn’t have been more confident about playing him. “The ultimate calmness that he stands for and the principles of dharma that he always upheld are the most fascinating aspects of his personality. That they stood unchanged in ever circumstance was even more awe-inspiring for her. “Unfortunately no part of my own psyche is calm, but its a goal to be achieved certainly,” she says.

The last few years have been very demanding for the dancer,
but with the hitches also came the great learning. Her dance taught her patience and tolerance. It gave her body grace. It has also improved her concentration, alertness and steadiness. “In my view, dance is nothing but a divine form of yoga. Along with good physical exercise, it gives you supreme mental happiness. This is the closest I will ever come to experiencing the lord,” she smiles.


If not a dancer, you would be.

A fashion designer

Last movie you enjoyed.

Kannada movie called Oggarane

Most forgetful about.


Place of your dreams.


Most precious in your wardrobe.
My dresses, jewels  

A thing you’d like to thank your parents for most.
To let me pursue dance in spite of belonging to an orthodox family.

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp