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Pursuing perfection

City-based dancer Mydhili has won the Kaisiki award.

SHE HAS initiated hundreds of children in the city to the world of classical dance. And has choreographed a few innovative Bharathanatyam pieces.

For her contribution to dance, Mydhili has won the Kaisiki award, instituted by the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy.

Three `D's have guided this artiste in her pursuit of perfection -- dedication, devotion and discipline. "In my choreography, I've always striven to retain the purity of tradition."

She started learning classical dance at a very early age and has always been a keen observer of the dance form.

"I was inspired to try new things in choreography by the famous dancer, T. Balasaraswathy," she says.

Mydhili has choreographed more than 280 pieces, including the works of renowned poets such as Tyagaraja, Kanakadas, Oothukadu, Madhavachari and Adi Shankara. "I prefer classics to new works," she says.

What is the importance of language in dance?

"Knowledge of Tamil helps a Bharathanatyam dancer. I know the language and am thus able to choreograph each lyric, paying attention to the subtleties and nuances," she points out.

Mydhili ensures that her students strictly follow the traditional structure of the art form. "Why do today's youngsters prefer cinematic dance to traditional styles? The performance of cinematic dance, which sometimes borders on the obscene, should not be encouraged in schools and public places," she says.

Who dance well - boys or girls? "Boys, of course," she replies.

She is also sad that for most students, dance remains merely a hobby and not a career option.

Mydhili decries the practice of reserving a seat for the `Kalathilakams' at the MBBS and the B.Tech. "A good dancer should be encouraged through scholarships and he or she should try and get a job related to dance."

In Tamil Nadu, classical dancers are given due importance, she avers. The best performer there is made the State dancer. "Our Government too should take steps in this direction," Mydhili says.

GIGINY JAYASON

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