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Versatile in her chosen field

For Jayanthi Subramaniam, her approach to Bharatanatyam is an expression of an inward journey towards a higher goal in life. A profile.

AS SHE speaks, her face reflects a note of tranquillity that makes her seem more attractive and one can feel the inner peace and goodwill of this dancer, Jayanthi Subramaniam, who describes her approach to the art of Bharatanatyam as an inward journey towards higher goals of life. "I grew up in an atmosphere, listening to `Sath Sang' discourses arranged frequently by my grand mother and parents. The spiritual surrounding, even at that tender age, has probably shaped me into what I am today, in the competitive field of fine arts, without being carried away by the glitter and glamour of the stage or rewards and awards that are an end in themselves", says Jayanthi, while sharing her views on the trends of the current scene.

Jayanthi, a prime student of Adyar K. Lakshmanan, is an accomplished artist, having performed in almost all the leading cultural organisations in Chennai and in several parts of the country for the past three decades. She has earned a name for herself as a dignified, versatile dancer, who adheres firmly to the nuances of her chosen Sampradaya with utmost reverence. Jayanthi began with Padma Subramaniam and later moved over to seek the guidance of S.K. Kameswaran. Her maiden performance in 1969 made her parents realise the need for furthering her skills on a regular, rigorous schedule. Soon she came under Adyar K. Lakshmanan, the renowned teacher, who taught Jayanthi with great care and interest. If Adyar Lakshmanan gave her an in-depth training in the traditional format, Kalanidhi Narayanan, Abhinaya expert, led Jayanthi through "a path of realisation into the rich realms of abhinaya." In recent performances of Jayanthi, one can see further dimensions of embellishment by her own understanding of not only the methodology of improvising, but also of the textual details, related to this sphere, which have been possible with Jayanthi's grip in Sanskrit.

A graduate in Fine Arts with a Masters degree in Sanskrit have widened Jayanthi's approach to her art providing her with ample opportunities to express herself in dance through a deep, involved technique and clarity in interpretation. Nattuvangam is yet another area where Jayanthi has established herself. Her solid grounding in Bharatanatyam has enabled her to venture into the intricacies of conducting. Bhagavatula Seetharama Sarma, well-known in the field, has trained Jayanthi and today she not only conducts her own students at her school Kaladarsana, but is sought after by many for wielding the cymbals.

Jayanthi has trained a number of young students, known in the current dance scene for their impressive performances and has also produced several dance-ballets.

True to the Indian tradition, Jayanthi manages her home and passion for her art with equal ease and grace. Her gentle nature is entwined with an inner firmness, as she narrated about her art and life. Jayanthi's thought and action are sincere following the utterance of the Bhagavadgita — Do your duty and at any time seek not the fruit of it.

NANDINI RAMANI

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