At a time when many youngsters may be following contemporary forms of dance and music as a fad and not as a dedicated discipline, it is refreshing to see Gayathri Murali Nair balancing the tradition rather impressively.

The young girl who began learning Bharatanatyam at the age of ten and has been a disciple of Smt Priya Venkataraman for the past 8 years. She will be performing her Arangetram at the India international Center Lodhi Road on August 13.

Arangetram is the debut on-stage solo performance of a former student of Indian classical dance or music form.

For Nair, it is an extremely important moment as it celebrates years of the hard work she has put in to understand the traditional Indian dance form. But that's not the only feather in her cap, as the young girl who is also a student at GD Goenka School of Fashion and Design will be jetting off to Politecnico di milano, Italy in a month as a part of an exchange program.

This has been an eventful year for the young dancer as she also had her first international performance along with her Guru at the Festival of India in Dakar, Senegal.

During her first solo performance Nair will be doing the whole 'margam' of Bharatanatyam, which consists of Pushpanjali, Alaripu, Jatiswaram, Varnam, Padam, Sabdam and Tilllana. The intense performance means dancing for 2 hours straight.

BWW catches up with the young Gayathari Murali Nair on her Bharatanatyam journey

BWW: Talk to us about your introduction to Bharatanatyam and your learning years

GN: I got introduced to this dance form by my mother. When she was young she also learnt Bharatanatyam but unfortunately had to leave it because of college. So she was very particular, that i need to be introduced to it and I don't leave it for any reason. I started learning at a very early age and now I don't think i can do without dancing anymore. I think what really kept me going was my Guru, Smt. Priya Venkataraman who made me see the beauty in this art form and motivated me constantly. In Bharatanatyam you use every inch of your body, your eyes, head, hands, feet, your entire body to tell stories and dance and unlike other dances it is very symmetric and complete. Which was something I found very interesting.

BWW: At a time when Western contemporary dance and music forms are all the rage, was it an unusual choice for you to choose a dance disciple that is traditional and requires intense discipline

GN: I remember the time when all my friends were going for those contemporary forms and jazz classes and I was doing what some may call 'boring.' When you talk of traditional art forms, they are not popular with the young Indians because it takes time and effort, that you have to give to it. It slowly grows on you. I think we should start respecting our traditional dance forms and give it the time it actually requires. A year wouldn't do, you need about 8-9 years at least of constant training. One needs to make time. Our Indian Dances are so beautiful, nothing like what you see anywhere else. It should be our strength, we should propagate it with its right essence and not let it die.

Event Details

Date: August 13, 2017

Time: 2.45 pm

Venue: India International Centre, Lodhi Road, Delhi

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