A Tale of 'Panchatantra' With Pavithra Srinivasan

"Bharatanatyam to me is pure joy! Not only do I revel in its transcendence of the ordinary, but also in the appreciation of beauty and wisdom that this rich cultural heritage offers. It is a great self offering to the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Ishvara (ईश्वरा)"
- Pavithra Srinivasan

NrityaYatri an organization by dancer Smt. Meghana Sabde, had organized a children's day special dance program "Utkarsha" on November 12, 2017. An organization is taking well appreciating efforts towards promoting great artists, evolving the reach and approach towards classical dance and introducing to Punekars  the well-known artists and their valuable and wonderful, thoughtful dance productions.
In this program, Pune audience were really under a bliss of unique performances by famous Chennai artists- Smt. Pavitra Srinivasan & Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan's Sridevi Nrithyalaya's group dance performances. After this successful event I as a blogger could informally chat with a beautiful, calm and talented dancer Smt. Pavithra Srinivasan.She is among the most inspired and dedicated Bharatanatyam dancers of her generation. She has been dedicated to the pursuit of this ancient Bharatanatyam tradition her whole life. She continuous her advanced training in Bharatanatyam under the illustrious and renowned couple- Padma Bhushan The Dhananjayans, and is a part of their performing group of students. Before this, she was the recipient of the "best outgoing student" of Padma Sehadri Bala Bhavan School, Chennai. She also holds a Post Graduation degree in Business Economics.
Pavithra has been created her many solo productions like- Panchatantra, Sundara Kaandam, Purushaartha, Shiva Parivar & Ananda.

In the interview, while sharing her journey, her thoughts and about a creative task like Panchatantra Tales, she said: "I am always inspired by teaching children. We all love stories. We all look up to stories in our life to uplift ourselves. When we are in a confusion or trouble then we want something to inspire or some hero to inspire, some courage, some heroic principles, disciplines from others which inspires us and helps us to get out of our trouble and confusion. We all go through that, at various points in our life. When we look up into stories, stories has a profound messages at clears up our confusion. So when we teach the stories to children through gestures of Bharatanatyam, through music then they are able to pay attention, they grasp the idea and they become very quiet. When they become quiet and when the messages gets into their mind then that's when the magic happens! So I inspired to do Panchatantra. And I am a lover of our Indian literature. I think, in this world, our literature, our philosophy and ancient texts has influenced any philosopher of the world. I am a devotee of our culture. So, Panchatantra is also from oldest collection of our literature and they are timeless, relevant at all times and at all ages. This is the reason I chose Panchatantra. Animals have a sudden sweetness when you portrait them. I chose more animals. It was not easy to do that for which a foundation must be very good."  The music of this dance production also very well appreciated by audience. The use of Carnatic raga-s, tala-s and the shollas of Bharatanatyam were apt, unusual and purposeful. Composing and creating a music for the dance is a big task; Pavithra Akka expressed towards it- "I have a musical mind. I may not be technically very well but it is in me and I am a learner of  Carnatic music. Dance is not possible without music. I read lot of stories of Panchatantra, So selecting five from them was a process. I chose more animals and also human beings. Every story has its color, a message, different twists to it so, for these stories I approached to musicians and whoever composed the music is one of the best musicians in Madras. He does music compositions for all my productions. So when I give the idea, my imaginations, he able to give music." 

Including Panchatantra, Pavithra akka expressed few beautiful and important messages towards dance and students:

"Dance is not only to entertain, 
it has to educate 
and that education should be elevate"

"Whatever you learn you learn for a love of learning. When you are a learner, you have a learning mind. Be honest to yourself. Learn from a right teacher. Young dancers should have a clarity of their goal. Grow yourself & there is nothing important like practice if you want to be a good dancer"

Really, Panchatantra was a sweet treat for us. I am thankful to Pavithra Akka for sharing her thoughts with us and thank you Smt. Meghna Sabde & Shraddha Palsule for your helpful hands and Nritya Yatri also.

- Swarada Dhekane. 


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