Her feet dance, her eyes talk

DANCE EXPONENT

An exquisite diamond of her art style, when danseuse Shovana Narayan moves with elegance, you are compelled to sit up and take notice. Metrolife catches up with her after her performance on Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry Kadambari.

 
Move along : Shovana NarayanSo how did she begin dancing? “It was all because of my mother’s upbringing and her interest in our rich cultural traditions. She took me to Sadhona Bose, the famous dancer-actress, in order to initiate me into dance. Sadhonaji was shocked to see me because I was only two-year-old then. She burst out saying, ‘Kole baccha niye eshecho?’ (you have brought me a baby in arms?),” she recalls.

The “baby” surely grew up to make the world her oyster. Shovana reveals that she entered the world of dance before she entered the world of academics. However she loved both: dance was her life, academics was her passion.

But does audience reaction matter to her? She shares, “Kathak includes communication with the audience, unlike any other dance form. This process of communication therefore inherently also serves to enlighten the audience about the pieces being performed. The reaction of the audience doesn’t matter so much because when I perform, I  perform with my heart.” She continues, “Yet there is another level of sub-consciousness, where the artiste is aware of the audience’s reaction.”

Shovana added, “For a long time, we wanted to bring Kadambari to life and I am glad it could happen today. Her presence has been felt deeply in Rabindranath Tagore’s works, though her life came to a tragic halt, she will remain with us always.” In her career spanning several decades that has seen her mesmerising audiences all over the world, she has been conferred with numerous awards, the Padma Shri Award for excellence and outstanding contribution to dance in 1992 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1999-2000, to name a few.

“God has been kind by giving me a chance to serve society through the medium of dance. There have been moments of struggle in my life but my only wish is that God continues to give me strength and His benevolent eye is upon me,” she concludes.

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