With a cutting edge...
They are young, artistic and brimming with ideas. A profile of Madhuvanthi and Arun Rao, who are making a mark with their event management company, Cutting Edge.
From the adorable little girl who appeared fleetingly on stage, she has grown into a self assured person. It is her will and determination to make her own mark that makes Madhuvanthi Arun such a pleasure to behold.
In addition to her career as a classical dancer and the fact that she is Mrs. Y. G. Parthasarathy's granddaughter and Y.G. Mahendra's daughter, she is now making a foray into a field where it seems that she will leave an imprint, going by her track record.
Meeting husband Arun Rao could have been the turning point for her, in the direction her life is now taking her. An advertising professional (while in college, he took part in debates and was a State athlete), Arun worked with several ad agencies and ad filmmakers, before he decided that there is nothing like being on your own.
Thus came into being Cutting Edge, which, as he puts it, is "a company born to create trends in film-making, redefining the existing genre and breaking boundaries to create effective communication.''
Bringing a person like Madhuvanthi into the picture only served to hone these ideals, given her training in music, dance and choreography, under Padma Subrahmanyam. In addition, she also trained with Rajeev Menon Productions in the making of commercials and advertising techniques. "Madhu is strong in music while I am into direction,'' says Arun, who incidentally is actor Gemini Ganesan's grandson. And Madhuvanthi quickly adds, "He encourages me a lot. In fact, he is the one who pushed me into starting a dance school, in addition to my work at Cutting Edge.''
At her dance school, which came into existence in October, students are taught Bharatanrityam, which, Madhuvanthi says, is a blend of different styles according to the Natyashastra. Classes in Sanskrit music and theory are also conducted.
Meanwhile, the couple has also started the Natyam Trust, a non-profit organisation to promote Indian culture, performing arts and crafts. The trust hopes to give scholarships to deserving youngsters.
Madhuvanthi and Arun are both a good mix of the modern and the traditional in their outlook. While they lead their own lives, there is a lot of bonding with the elders, specially the parents on both sides.
"I have a bit of my grandmother,'' says Madhuvanthi. "If she can do so much at her age, I think I should try and do at least twice as much. She is my inspiration. My parents and my in-laws are very supportive''.
Cutting Edge, as the husband-wife duo proclaims, networks with the best of upcoming talent, providing like-minded creative professionals a springboard to take the leap, be it in music, cinematography or direction.
It was in that context that their work came into focus when on November 9, a cassette on fitness directed by them and presented by Dr. Kamala Selvaraj, was released in the presence of eminent film personalities and politicians. Actress Rekha released the cassette that featured Suraiya and Dr Kamala Selvaraj.
The occasion also marked the release of "Vazhkai Padagu", the autobiography of Gemini Ganesan, by Jayashree Viswanathan. Former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi released the book.
Madhuvanthi and Arun are young and have miles to go. But when you watch them in action, you are left in no doubt that they will achieve all that they have set out to do.
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