Monthly Archives: April 2010

My Inspiration My Guru!!

Dr. Padmashri Ananda Shankar Jayanth a renowned Bharatnatyam/Kuchipudi Dancer… My guru and a guardian angel for many of us who love and have a lot to learn from Dance. We lovingly call her akka.

Akka is the happiest person Iv ever been around.She lights up a room the minute she walks in and when she is teaching us, there is so much energy among us… everybody’s feet stamp harder to the rhythm and its a beautiful combination of music without instruments and dance. She watches us with an eagles eye, correcting every minuscule flaw that a student makes even if we are in large numbers. She makes our learning experience an absolute joy. There is so much to learn from her apart from dance.

She calls herself the conqueror of cancer… any other person would have been shattered if they knew they had cancer. But akka did not let cancer take her over.. she fought it and she danced her way through therapy. Makes me wonder if dance has healing powers and gives me hope that nothing in life is impossible.

She works her way through any predicament with such elan and poise. Even if her schedule is packed (which would drive anybody else insane) she still has time for perfection and everything is planned and well organized.Shes a true example of the power woman. She’s an employee and a professional dancer and the worlds best teacher.

I am one of the many lucky students who was blessed with the opportunity to dance with akka in her troupe. Dancing tales… Panchatantra was premiered in Hyderabad at Shilpakala Vedika in 2006. When I watched the show, I fell in love with the production and my love for dance was rekindled. Little did I know that four years later I would be performing in the same production. I was overjoyed when akka told me I could be part of this humongous production.

Dancing tales… Panchatantra was one of the many productions of akka’s which appeals to a wide range of audience. A dance theater production… with a blend of many dance forms. Its amazing how a human body can be used to express and tell a story. With brilliant music composition, beautiful movements and costumes.. the five famous stories of Panchatantra unravel on the stage mesmerizing the viewers.

It took 37 dancers to make this production this year. It was like a huge party. Akka made sure that none of us missed a beat and taught us to move with the rhythm and let the music play through us.

We were all too excited to have a stage fright. It was the adrenaline rush that kept us going. Personally it was a true spiritual experience for me. Once you step on to that stage your mind is so calm and bereft of million thoughts that always run through your head and all you see are the lights on the stage and the pitch dark auditorium behind the lights. It felt like as if I was looking into eternal space. All you hear and feel is the music and your body swing and sway to it. I am so thankful to akka for this awesome experience.



Filed under Celebration, Dance, Life, My Musings, Theater