A post-graduation in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California and a sound corporate job in the US were not at all hindrances for dancer Divya Devaguptapu to continue with her passion for dancing.
“Life in the US had brought me many good things in life. First, it was there that I met my husband, and secondly, it made me realize where I belong to, sending me back to my roots,” says Divya. After seven years in the corporate world, with a few genuine dance programmes to her credit, the artiste bid adieu to her engineering profession, embracing her all-time love vigorously.
“I never regretted I let go off a pretty good job. Nothing other than dance has ever given me more satisfaction. After all, it’s your own contentment that finally matters. I followed my heart and I am happy about it,” says the dancer who was in Kozhikode to perform for the fourth evening of ‘Rasavikalpam’.
But the dancer opines that if there’s something deficient, when it comes to the whole package of classical dances, it is the lack of genuine rasikas.
“In a way it is the responsibility of every dancer to create an enthusiastic rasika clan. However expansive and rich our performances might be, if they are not conveyed to the gathering, it’s meaningless. And rasikas also should devise ways to develop more interest in classical entertainments as these. Our country boasts of everything rich and splendid. Our dance forms are a culmination of all these rich histories and everything glorious. So it is never a task too hard for our gathering to make out what is being performed,” adds the dancer.
Her experiments with contemporary dancers only made her more informed, she says. “I have worked with leading contemporary dancers Patricia Rincon and Peter Kalivas. And the association was perfectly educating. From them I mastered more techniques of body language. And they were equally curious to know more about our classical lessons.”
The artiste, who has some genuine disciples to boast of, adds that she herself is becoming a student with each passing day.
“From each of my students I learn something new. I stick to my gurus’ rules though I passionately enjoy other artistes’ performances. Our classical lessons are like an ocean. The more you dive in, the more is left to explore.”
Divya began learning Bharatanatyam at the tender age of five. “My mother was very supportive. She stood by my passion and used to look out for various dance schools in the busy city of Mumbai so that I get a taste of everything,” she says.
The chase finally ended at the doors of Dhananjayans. Divya says she was fortunate to train herself under the maestros, who moulded the perfect dancer in her. “They taught me the vocabulary and language of dance. If at all I have reached anywhere in this field, it’s because of them.”
Called a child prodigy by several art critics during her younger days, Divya has performed in several prestigious platforms worldwide. She presently shuttles between India and the US in connection with her various assignments and dance demonstrations.
Ask her an essential quality required for an ardent Bharatanatyam performer, and there comes the much humble reply. “Follow your heart, be religious and work out genuine experiments. Give a ear to genuine criticism also. You need them for your growth,” she winds up.