From creating chemically engineered designs, Bharatanatyam dancer Devikaa Rajaraman, decided to use her dance aesthetics to create stories in her lab of creative experimentation. The result was a beautiful synthesis of inventiveness and resourcefulness. As an ode to her 25 years of dedication to the art form, Rajaraman will be taking stage on October 6. She will present a repertoire starting with a pushpanjali, an offering of flowers to the gods, followed by other aspects of dance.
Rajaraman is a morning person. Her day begins with stretching and strengthening exercises, followed by rigorous dance practice. She dances at least five days a week, with two of them focused on learning, and the rest for practice. Since age seven, she has been pursuing Bharatanatyam. So, when the time came, it was easy for her to choose life as a dancer as opposed to an engineer. “The process of building a skill, such as dance, but it could be different for you, instills discipline and confidence. It gives the mind an aspirational target and a sense of satisfaction. Despite completing my Masters’, I chose Bharatanatyam over a day job because it is a skill that has helped me find meaning and purpose in what I do. Dance has made me more observant, curious, humble and determined,” she says.
Being presented by Natya Vriksha, the show will see shlokam celebrating Lord Shiva, followed by a varnam, which is the central piece in Bharatanatyam. It will then lead to subbarama dikshithar padam in Telugu. Rajaraman will also present verses from the Divya Prabandham Pasurams composed by the Zvaishnavite saint Tirumangai Alwar, in addition to a concluding piece. “The part that has been the most enriching for me are the jathis in the varnam. My guru, Geeta Chandran handpicked these for my performance since they were composed by my Nattuvangam guru late Karaikudi R. Sivakumar. Watching her choreograph them is something that I keep reflecting on,” she says.
Accompanying artists for the evening are Geeta Chandran (Nattuvangam), K Venkateshwaran (vocal), Manohar Balatchandirane (mridangam), and G. Raghavendra Prasath (violin).The heart and the mind work symbiotically in dance for her. Her heart calls out to her when she is working on a new piece, and her mind takes precedence when she is watching someone else perform, in a way to understand and interpret what they’re creating.
The best thing about this form, she believes, is its immediate resonance with people, unlike movies and dramas that stretch for hours.Rajaraman, who has recently taken to bird watching, loves her walks through the Sultanpur bird sanctuary. It provides crisp air and fresh perspective, both required to live and love what you do.
October 6: 6.30 pm, Chinmaya Mission Auditorium, Lodhi Estate.