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Malavika Sarukkai dances her way to spirituality

Namita S Kalla | Updated on: 24 March 2018, 11:40 IST

It is said that dance is one of the most powerful forms of magical ritual. It is an outer expression of the inner spirit.The saying holds true for eminent classical dancer Malavika Sarukkai. The doyenne, who was introduced to formal dance training at the age of 7, and made her debut performance at the age of 12,seems to have reached the pinnacle of this art form, which is why she relates dance with spirituality. "When a dancer begins dancing it feels like a faraway thing and difficult to conquer. After 20 years of training dance becomes your friend and after 30 years of training dance becomes your spiritual guide, philosopher and trusted companion".


About Thari

‘Thari’ is a representation of where my mind is now. Every female dancer begins her career performing ‘Ashta- Nayika’ dances – where the female is waiting for her man’s return. A few dancers manage to push the boundaries of classical dance and release themselves from the condition of performing such pieces.Dance is not an individual because individuals leave a trajectory. An artiste will always create what she thinks and what feels. 


For a flawless performance
A dancer needs to always think about how they can use their body as an instrument to transform themselves. Spirituality doesn’t just mean performing songs about Gods and Goddesses. Being completely aligned and in complete harmony with the body can also be spiritual. It is also very important to be fully focused on the day of your performance. Small changes to the daily routine like – doing yoga, eating light, ironing one’s own costume, not having long conversations with people-- is what helps maintain focus and perform flawlessly each time.

Reinventing dance
The ace dancer is known for weaving contemporary and mythological tales together. She believes that art should be allowed to flow free  "One needs to reinvent oneself to create something fresh to carry on the tradition. Bharatanatyam has a unique structure, grammar and parameters. Its deeper roots are transformative for both the dancer and the viewer. With the diverse and rich traditions of India comes great responsibility. If an artiste is repetitive it dulls the traditions".

First published: 24 March 2018, 10:39 IST