“One must always have the dedication and passion for Bharatanatyam when they choose this field as their career. Identifying their ‘niche’ is important for any artiste,” said Priya Raman, Bharatanatyam artiste, who has been performing for over a decade.
Her passion for dance drove her to learn the art form at the age of 8. Speaking about her journey in the world of Bharatanatyam, she narrated, “Bharatanatyam programmes on television was a great motivation for me to learn the dance form. I remember dancing in front of TV as the programmes began. I was trained under danseuse Shubha Dhananjay.” Her parents always supported her to pursue her career as a Bharatanatyam artiste. She did her arangetram at the age of 16. Today, she has performed in some of the most prestigious sabhas across the country. Participating in the National Youth Festival organised by the Central Government of India, representing India as a cultural ambassador through Rotary’s Group Study Exchange Programme are some of her achievements so far. Sharing about her experiences on her trip to other countries she said, “Once I had been to USA, where I had to give you a few dance recitals and also lecture demonstration to the citizens of USA. They were not used to the language and grammar of the dance forms of India. However, they were inquisitive. I prepared myself to present them the best so they could not only comprehend but also relate to what I performed. Even after the dance recital got over, they came up to me and inquired about every aspect of dance.” There is a common notion among many artistes that there is not much scope to experiment within the art form as there are set norms. Speaking about the same, she said, “There is a lot of scope for the artiste to be creative within the boundaries. For instance, language teaches you words, but how one constructs sentences depends on the writers. Similarly, dance is a beautiful language. But how one portrays the character and how excellently it is packaged before presenting it to the audience is what matters.” When asked about the scope of bharatanatyam today, she said that it is taking over all contemporary dance forms today. “Basically, contemporary dance implies stretching beyond boundaries and moving out of the box,” she added. In future, Priya wants to immerse herself in research, choosing a topic -- Role of Media and performing art. “I want to merge both my passions — bharatanatyam and writing,” she concluded with a smile.