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I want to touch the inner core of the audience, says dancer Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya

This one has helped her to be a `holistic’ person. Not just that. Learning this art form has elevated her culturally and spiritually. Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya says she has a natural aptitude for Bharathanatyam. She shares her thoughts with in this chat.

How long have you been learning dance?
I am learning dance for close to 25 years now. I started learning dance in October 1984.

Who is your dance guru?
Padmasri Smt. Chitra Visweswaran.

What has been your biggest learning from her?
My biggest learning from my guru is: how to get totally involved in anything I undertake – caring even for the smallest given detail.

Why do you learn dance?
I identify with the art form and feel I have a natural aptitude for it.

Are you also learning vocal music?

How do you strike a balance between family life and dance?
My family is very supportive of my dance career. When I am not performing, I teach students in Mumbai.

Are you learning dance by choice or compulsion?
By choice.

How does it (learning dance) help you in day-to-day life?
Discipline, focus, single mindedness, (learning of any classical art form) - all these are imbibed by one as one progresses. These qualities are essential in day-to-day life.

Learning dance – has it helped you to change your personality?
Learning dance from my guru has made me a `holistic’ person, not only in terms of refining my artistic sensibilities, but also in helping me grow culturally and spiritually.

What is your aim as a dancer?
Good artistes have the capability of elevating the general mood of the audience. They also manage to touch the inner core, rasanubhavam. I want to be able to achieve that and make my audience go back home with a feeling of satisfaction.

What is the key to be a disciplined dancer?
Practice, practice and practice.

What it takes to be a long haul player in this art form?
Talent being a given, good PR (public relations) always gets one further.

Do you think that dance is getting adequate encouragement?
At the professional level, dance could do with a lot more encouragement than what it is getting today. Ticketed performances are few, with upcoming dancers being asked to foot a lot of the expenses. Professional dancing has become expensive!

December season in Chennai - what thought crosses your mind?
Natya Kala Conference, Kutcheris and good food.
Ameera D'Costa -
Super interview. Keep it up Lakshmi.

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