Bharatanatyam Dream Fulfilled At 50 By Nine Women
In a show of grit, nine women in Chennai, some well above 50, fulfilled their childhood dream of learning Bharatanatyam dance. Eight of them are mothers and their first performance as part of Salanagai Pooja was a super hit.
Dressed in stunning green and red silk sari, their graceful performance won audience applause.
59 year old Dr C Vaijayanthi, is excited, Her dream to become a Bharatanatyam dancer has become true after 51 years. Though she began to learn the classical dance in her school days, her family could not afford to pay for it when she was 8. Now after more than five decades she has learnt her favourite dance. It took five years of hard work. “I feeI I have achieved something. Dreams do come true. Now I want to learn Veena” Dr Vijayanthi told tellmystory.in
Similarly 50 year old entrepreneur Kaveda Ravi who’s passionate about the art form had to stop after 3 years when she was in school. Years later she took dance classes with her two daughters, Swarna and Vikirtha, who are in college now. “Usually after wedding families don’t let women to dance. My husband however encouraged me. It was fun to learn dance with my daughters. It was like going back to school days” Kaveda says.
37 year old IT professional M Lakshmi resumed dancing after undergoing C section twice. “I could not have my Arangetram then” she explains. Now the techie aspires for a change of career, to become a dance guru. She’s willing to even give up her IT career. “I want to academically qualify myself now earning an M Phil in Bharatanatyam so I can teach Bharatanatyam.”
It was an arduous journey up to five years for these women to make this happen. For some of them it was a challenge to strike a balance between professional responsibilities and domestic commitments at at home. 32 year old Abhinaya Raj, an entrepreneur mom of two kids with her own company who returned to dance after 8 years says it was worth it. She said “I loved the entire journey. Dance gives peace, inner strength, grace and everything you get in spirituality. We are learning with full josh.” For D Gauthami a school teacher and a veena player it was a self discovery. “I never expected this opportunity will come at this age. This has given me physical fitness and mental strength”. Kaveda Ravi says “My family did not expect me to prepare dinner. They ordered on Swiggy.”
Among the audience were spouses, friends and family members of the dancers. Impressed by the quality of their dance, the husbands were honoured with a standing ovation for nurturing their wives. Mr R Ramachandran the Chatered Accountant husband of Dr R Vaijayanthi says “Women are talented. We should encourage every women to follow their heart than confining them as homemakers cooking food or using employed women as money making machines. Men too should help them in all walks of life.”
For the dance teacher Ms Vidyalakshmi Vidyanath who taught and trained the women, it was a new experience. Calling the idea “an inspiring and a blessed theme” she says “I treated all the women as kids.” Though initially she had concerns about the steps and the possible impact on health condition of women, she says everything went well. “Age is no bar to learn any art. Practice makes it perfect” Vidyalakshmi said.
24 year old Harshita, a Chemist, the youngest in the lot and the only yet to be married lady found the experience inspiring. Saying she never felt out of place in their company she added “I would be happy if I had their strength and passion at 50. They are so young at heart. I learnt a lot from them.”
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