Here is an Excerpt of an Interview with Prof CV Chandrasekhar which he gave, before his performance this evening, on the way to receiving his Padma Bhushan Award in India:
Q: You have performed Bharathanatyam to Hindustani music and even Gujarati poetry and reached a wider audience. Can we see something choreographed specially for the Australian trip ?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: I shall be dancing to the compositions of the three tamil composers, called the Tamil Moovar, [trinities] Muthu Thandavar, Marimutthu Pillai and Arunachala Kavirayyar. The performance shall also embrace compositions of Papanasam Sivam, poets such as Nakkirar, Thevaram and a Thillana composed by me. The dances will be performed to live music of local musicians.
Q.Is there a particular manner in which you tailor your programmes for a foreign audience ? If So, How do you choose your pieces..?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: A demonstrative lecture is what I find helps with a foreign audience. I also like taking poetry from foreign languages like Japanese and present it in the grammar of Bharathanatyam steps and abhinaya. If the audience is predominantly Tamil, then I proceed in the usual manner
4. How do you feel about receiving the Padma Bhushan award ? We know ofcourse that you have been given so many other awards, but this is the greatest honor that can be bestowed on an artist by the Government of India?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: It is a wonderful feeling to be recognised by Govt of India. I have never sought or particularly worked with the objective of getting this award. I forget sometimes that so much my life has been dedicated to dance so its a great feeling and an honor to be recognised with this award.
5. To whom would you dedicate this award and why ?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: I dedicate the Padma Bhushan to firstly my Parents then my Guru and Mentor Rukmini Devi who is my inspiration and the institute Kalakshetra, which shaped my future.
6. Fitness for dancers, any suggestions for young dancers. What’s your own secret ?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: Eat less, Eat Healthy ; Practice religiously every day and feel young even as you advance in age as dancers…
7. Can those who do not understand the language of the music, namely Carnatic Music, Tamil, Kannada
, Telugu, still learn bhava ? You have taught Japanese students. Are there any special methods you use to teach bhava ?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: I try to pick up words with reference to dance vocabulary in teaching abhinaya in other languages. I also ask students to translate the meaning in their own language and feel it in their own language.. it makes it easier to emote if you speak in your own tongue. I also advise them to learn basic vocabulary used in Bharathanatyam
8. Your advice to upcoming students and teachers of dance abroad ?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: For Teachers, continue to be a student in your life, not just increase in repertoire but understand the dance in depth by frequently visiting your own teacher and watching other performances which will assist in your teaching and keep you inspired.
For youngsters, try to absorb the Indian aesthetics and understand it is different to western aesthetics. Attitude to music and dance needs to be very focussed.
9. Last but not the least, if you were to do something differently in your life, what would it be ?
Prof CV Chandrasekhar: The world is a beautiful place and I would have loved to travel a lot more than I did. If I could travel more I would enhance my understanding of different cultures and in particular would have loved to learn more languages. I am a great admirer of nature and like to see more of God’s creation.