Kavitha Ramu Talks…

Here is a transcript of my informal chat session with Kavitha ramu, who apart from being all that she is also comes accross as a very friendly person so full of warmth.. There is absolutely no formality in this interview and I enjoy the spontaniety in her answers. I am sure you will enjoy this too..

Kavitha ramu

Kavitha Ramu

 1. Kavitha Ramu- getting to know her
A senior Bharatanatyam artist with over 20 years of experience as a soloist and over 400 performances spanning over many years.
An A grade artist of doordarshan and an empanelled artist of the ICCR.
Trained in nattuvangam from Kalaimamani Indira Rajan.

 Her Academic background:
An university rank holder in Economics {Bachelors} and university topper in public administration  {Masters}.Presently pursuing Masters in Bharatanatyam from the University of Madras.
  Her Awards and Titles

 Kavitha has received many awards and titles including the Nadanamamani by Karthik Fine Arts, Yuva Kala Bharati by Bharat Kalachar, Yuva Kala Vipanchee by Vipanchee trust, Ambujam Krishna award by the Music Academy, Nrithyasri by Sarigamapadani Foundation. Lakshmi vishwanathan endowment prize by krishna gana sabha.has performed widely in India and abroad..

 

  • 2. How and when did you start learning.. Your Guru(s)….        

    Well, I started learning when I was 4 yrs of age and it was my mom who initiated me into this art form…….because I was always dancing when she played any song! My first gurus were a couple in Salem Shri.Narayanan and Smt.Jayalakshmi Narayanan. My father was posted in Salem then and so I started learning in Salem. That was for a year..even then my gurus were so impressed by my dancing that they came all the way to Cuddalore to handle classes for me when we shifted to Cuddalore again because of my dad’s transfers…… the principal of my school in Cuddalore liked my dancing so much that she appointed the dancing couple to handle classes for children in our school once every week. My first full length program was when I was 8.

 

We then shifted to Madurai and I was under the tutelage of Smt.Neela Krishnamoorthy, elder sister of Dr.Padma Subrahmaniam. She was the one who refined me and perfected my adavus, making them stronger and graceful…………a wonderful experience learning with her and I was with her for almost six years with many a moment to treasure………..a very enterprising guru…..and one important event was when we performed as a group at the World Tamil Conference at Madurai………..I was too young to remember what items we did……probably in my 6th standard………but Neela miss made us learn karagam from the great karagam artist Shri. Om Periasamy…………we all performed karagam as well. Later my guru gave us a formal arangetram in Chidambaram………

.
My formative years in Bharatanatyam was with Guru.Neela Krishnamoorthy and truly a lifetime experience……..all the vacations used to be full time in her place……we used to have a whale of a time. Myself, my gurus daughter Lakshmi, Srividya and Gayatri were the gang of 4……..Guru.Smt Neela is no more….but there is not a day that I dont think of her and reminisce the good old days……..and whenever i see paddu akka (referring to Ms. Padma Subrahmanyam) or Kannan anna(Veenai Kannan) the bonding is so spontaneous…..
Later in tanjore i was with Guru.Rajendran for less than a year…………

After coming to Chennai, it was Guru. Kalaimamani K.J.Sarasa and by then I was quite experienced as a dancer ………though I started performing full time only after I came to Chennai.Sarasa teacher’ s nattuvangam was the best I could have had…vibrant, stylish with the necessary punches……………her nattuvangam for me was especially different coz I love to be a speedster as far as the pace is concerned……………

 

•3.       Your experience while performing  at the World Tamil Conference…

Performing at the World Tamil Conference was quite an experience………..that was my solos at two different venues for the 8th World Tamil Conference at Tanjore. When I was clueless as to what to present , it was Revaty aunty {Smt.Revathy Sankkaran} who picked up this idea of compiling verses for Tamil classics depicting the navarasas. The music was scored by violin Maestro. Kunnakudi R.Vaidhyanathan and choreographed by my guru. Sarasa teacher……………

It had verses from thevaaram,perumal thirumozhi,kaalamegappulavar charitram,thiruvasagam,thirupugazh,perur puraanam,kambaraamayanam and thiruarutpa……….

 4. Tell us about your experience working with Mr. Sheejith Krishna.. Coming from different schools how easy was it to collaborate…

Sheejith has always been a very good friend………..we started working together for the first time for a production by ABHAI , Narasimachari sir’s choreography, “Aindhinai” which enunciated the five types of land and spoke about their culture and varied moods…….we were the hero and the heroine for kurinchi, the very first piece………….where we were supposed to fall in love and get married………..it was great fun and challenging to dance to chari sir’s choreography…….Sheejith and I were very comfortable dancing and he would often pull my leg by singing ‘kaarmegakkuzhal’ which spoke of his heroine’s long tresses and I had a boy cut then………after our time in ainthinai…..we did a project called “idhuvum adhuvum”, again compiled by Revathy aunty; which spoke of the contradictory forces which co exist happily…….something in the lines of ying yang………..both of us did the choreography in portions and it was well received………

well you had asked me about the different styles……..probably you meant the Kalakshetra style and Vazhoor style. Somehow I always feel, in Bharatanatyam it is the person’s style that matters more and the so called bani s become superficial….as long as the adavus are perfected, araimandi is neat and the lines are clean…all the so called styles gel well! so we really didn’t have a problem doing it together . Sheejith now teaches full time in Kalakshetra as a lecturer and his choreographies are very innovative………

since we are very good friends otherwise working together does not bring any clash of opinion…his wife joti is also a great pal………

 

 5.  Read that you coordinated the opening and closing of the SAF games, 1995. Would love to hear about that….
SAF games…….being a cultural coordinator there was yet another memorable experience…………..we had several folk dance groups from all over the country and my role was to give them some formations………guiding them in such a manner that the flow one by one is not interrupted…………. we had our popular bhangra, dandiya bihu, and thappattam and a few forms like poong chalam, dholu kunitha,laavni,jawara which deserve their rightful place……..we also had lezims………

interacting with the groups………….going to their place of stay and see them rehearse……….making them understand the formations and flowing movements required….a joyful learning experience…………I was working with Major General Narendar Singh who was in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies…………I was just in the final year of my Masters then and this experience will always remains close to the heart

 •6.      Your time management must be excellent given that you also occupy an administrative position in the TN Govt .

 My time management is not so good. If you thought it would be good…and managing both is not as easy as my father told it would be………only because my father told me that I was a failure if I was not capable of making it to the service…..and I had to prove  I was not(a failure) and I took up the exams………..and got selected…………but  my priorities as a dancer and the responsibilities of an officer are at logger heads with each other………………and the dancer in me has to make a lot of compromises because of officialdom…..for instance, I had a flourishing dance school with more than 50 students before I entered service…….and now I have none ….i had to dismantle the whole thing………….it is easier said that one can have somebody to handle classes……but things don’t flow smoothly…..

7. Your thoughts on is it easy to branch out from the style of One’s Own Guru.. Do most dancers tend to become imitations of their Gurus?
Out of experience as I already told you , I do not believe that the different styles are very different……….as long as adavus are pefected and lines are neat all styles would be pleasant to watch and work with…small changes in kitathakatharikitathom and a few adavus are not glaring…….

yes…….I do agree that some dancers do imitate their respective gurus which sometimes does not suit them. But it is inevitable because they are so much used to watching their guru….and it knowingly or unknowingly gets into mental framework that it appears as though they imitate their guru……….however if the dancer takes a conscious effort to evolve a style that suits him/her it would be a pleasure to watch………………. So,as far as I am concerned.no stlye is difficult for a good dancer and a quick learner………..

 •8.      How healthy is the dance scene for Upcoming Artistes in Chennai?

Today’s dance scene is very healthy I should say………….youngsters of today are very eager to learn, quick to learn, very professional in their approach…………..fluent in different styles ,I have seen many perfect their hip hop and jazz as they have perfected Bharatanatyam, also keeping their styles intact……………very energetic, happy to help, easy to work with….all positives and can’t really think of any negative quality in the dance scenario of today!

Ok I have told you about the dancers of today…………well with the dance scene for upcoming youngsters I think sets me thinking…………hunting for sponsors becomes very difficult for many a gifted artist. Platforms are aplenty but whether the one who deserves that platform gets it or not is a question.

 •9.      What are your thoughts on innovation?

Innovations are part of dance……….always welcome. There are many contradictions about how much such innovations can stretch,but personally i feel that it is entirely the artists’s space/world. It is after all his/her creation, something that takes form in him/her, nurtured in him/her and is manifestation of each choreographer’s uniqueness. It is that person’s creative best and should always be appreciated.

It is very easy to criticise a work as ‘very ordinary’ and ‘boring’. But one has to understand that every artist wants to give his/her best try to make the work presentable…….lot of research, lot of thinking, good deal of effort go into a project……..again am not just talking just about innovative and contemporary themes, also about their choreography! I always think that water tight compartmentalisation of styles should not be stressed upon. Anita akka{Anita Ratnam} for instance is a very successful choreographer because she does not hesitate in incorporating thappattam, kalari, western fusion and so on wherever they are required…..

 •10.  Your choreographies

My choreographies..
Balaghantam: excerpts from tha ramayan
Azhwargal kanda ambhjappaadan:a thematic presentation combining pasurams and works of Smt.Ambujam Krishna.
Mathurapuri nilaye: a thematic presentation on goddess Meenakshi
Ondre kulam:
Samathuvame samudhayam:
latest-the peacock .

11.  Do you teach? Have you given a thought to teaching?

I love to teach………it gives a lot of satisfaction watching one’s students perform as I already told you I do not handle classes for want of dedicated time for classes. Nevertheless some of my old students who were in school and who are now of marriageable age, who do not want to go elsewhere to learn, insist that I start again. So, I do have plans of starting again mainly with those few in mind………..

 Thanks Kavitha for sharing your thoughts/views with us despite your busy schedule…
 Best Wishes ..
 

 

 

 

Advertisements

12 responses to “Kavitha Ramu Talks…

  1. அன்புத்தோழி கவிதா ராமுவுடனான கலந்துரையாடலை இங்கே காணக்கிடைத்தமையிட்டு மிகவும் மகிழ்ச்சி.
    இவர் பழகுவதற்கு மிகவும் அன்பானவர் என்பதோடு பல திறமைகள் கொண்டிருந்தும் சிறிதேனும் தற்பெருமையற்றவர்.

    இவரது தொடரும் முயற்சிகளனைத்தும் வெற்றிகளை ஈட்டித்தர வாழ்த்துவதோடு, இவரது அனைத்து வெற்றிகளுக்கும் எனது பாராட்டுக்களையும் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறேன்.

    அவருடனான கலந்துரையாடலை இங்கு பகிர்ந்துகொண்ட சங்கீதாவுக்கு எனது நன்றி !

    என்றும் அன்புடன்,
    எம்.ரிஷான் ஷெரீப்

    Hi Rishan Shareef,
    I am so excited to see Tamil in the comment. How did you do that?
    Indeed Kavitha Ramu’s warmth and affection are contagious..
    Thanks for your comment…
    Regards,
    Sangeetha

  2. hi kavi,i always knew that you wear a wonderfull person.we wear all amazed watching your dance. in fact i was extremely proud of you.your accomplishments in dance is a role model for tharakesh and vishnu. all the best for the future to come.

  3. dear kavitha,
    we the members of jvala(jain vidalaya alumni association-madurai) are proud of you.
    you have excelled both personally and professionally.
    all the best.
    nikhil.

  4. I have watched her performance for thyagaraja’s pancharatnam kirtan by kalapradarshini this january at sivagami pethachi.She was easily the best among the five dancers who presented one kirtan each, and swept the audience with her immaculate nritta and graceful abinaya.Iam looking forward to her this season.

  5. Hi Kavitha
    Great to read this piece. I am so glad to read about your tremendous achievements. I agree with Nikhil- cheers to you. We are all proud of you!!
    Indira

  6. Hey Sangee!
    Thank you so much! All my friends and well wishers liked it.You are awesome! And your columns are great!
    I would also like to thank some of my friends who have left their comments here.
    Rishi is a wonderful writer/blogger and constantly encourages me……..
    Siva anna a stylish and a very articulate person,a senior colleague,always has a good word for me……….
    Nikhil,our Ambani in the making,distributes anchor products and loads of other stuff….He is one of my best known friends,friends since class 7 and our friendship dates over 20 years now…chides me now and then,but is always there for me….
    Indira again is my friend since school days……well over 18 years now….ever friendly with the same child like smile………..
    And my thanks to few other friends who have mailed me after reading this piece.
    thanks a ton for all your love,
    kavitha.

    Dear Kavitha,
    I must confess that your warmth and unassuming attitude bowls me over.. And looks like you are a blessed human being with many well wishers around. I cant wait to see you in action sometime soon!
    Warm Regards,
    Sangeetha

  7. அன்பு தோழி கவிதா,
    உங்கள் பேட்டி சிறப்ப இருந்தது.உங்கள் வார்த்தைகள் தற்போது பிறந்த குழந்தையின் கதகதப்பு போல் உயிர்போடு இருந்தது.உங்களின் சொற்கள் உங்கள் ஆளுமையை படம் பிடித்து காட்டியது. வாழ்த்துக்கள் மேலும் உங்கள் ஆசைகள்,லட்சியங்கள் நிறைவேற!! அதே சமயம் சிற்சில கோரிக்கைகள் உங்களுடன்- இன்றைக்கு வறுமையால் பாதிக்கப்படும் இந்திய மக்கள் 45 கோடி அதில் 90% விழுக்காட்டினர் பெண்கள். அவர்களின் ஒரு நாள் வருமானம் வெறும் 20 ரூபாய் ஒரு நிமிடத்திற்கு 3 பெண்கள் கற்பளிக்கபடுகின்றனர்- வன்மம் நிறைந்த ஆண்களால். இப்படி பெண்கள் படும் துயரம் கொஞ்ச நஞ்சமல்ல. மற்றொரு பக்கம் இப்படி பட்ட சுவடே தெரியாமல் ஒரு சமூகம் கேளிக்கைகளிலும், நுகர்வு கலாச்சாரத்திலும் மூழ்கி கிடக்கின்றனர்.அதில் ஆட்டமும் பாட்டமும் ஒன்று. இந்நிலையில் உங்களை போன்றவர்கள் இந்த அற்புதமான கலையை மக்களின் வாழ்வியலை குறிப்பாக பெண்கள் படும் துயரங்களை உங்கள் பாரதத்தில் காட்டில் அது ஒரு பிரசாரமாகவும் இருக்கும் என்பது என் கருத்து. நம் ஒவ்வுறு செயல்பாடும் சமூக வளர்சியோடு இருந்தால் நாளைய சமூகம் வளர்ந்து உயர்ந்து நிற்கும்-நம் பெயரை சொல்லிக்கொண்டு-இயேசு,நபி,புத்தர் போல! உங்களை போன்ற சிறந்தவர்களை பற்றி வெளிக்கொண்டு வர இணையதளத்தில் தளம் அமைத்து தன் பங்களிப்பை சிறப்பாக செய்து இருக்கும் சங்கீத தோழிக்கு மனமார்ந்த வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

    Romba Nandri Thozhar Tamizh Avargale,
    Sangeetha

  8. Hello,
    Very nice…
    I am happy to introduce a site ‘DynamycDesi’.The site encourages people to upload their talents in any form on the website and gives an award to the ‘Best Talent’.

  9. Dear Kavita,

    Well done and hats off to you !

    I know that you worked very hard to achieve your goal. Work more harder and your good work will keep on bringing success into your life.

    “If you’ll always be a student,
    You’ll find the secrets to success
    And travel on the golden road
    To good fortune, peace and happiness.”

    May you have many many happy tomorrows!!!

    With best wishes//Nand

  10. Dear Kavitha,
    Belated Women’s Day Wishes.

    I am very happy to know about another great women of our country.

    Thanks for sangeetha also to bring out the success people to the light.

    Kavi Akka i pray to the Almighty that HE should fulfill all your wishes and give you a great success in both the fields ( T.N. Admin & Dance).

    BEST WISHES FOR YPUR FUTURE PLANS.

    With Lots Of Love,
    Sharmila

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s