'I like to experiment'

'I like to experiment'

Surging Ahead

'I like to experiment'

Popular actor-dancer Shobana was recently in the City for the performance of her dance-drama, Krishna, a modern re-telling of the life of the blue god.

She speaks to Metrolife on Krishna, dance in general and her future projects.

“We thought we could try something new and reach out to a bigger audience. The idea was to explore a free form,” says Shobana about the show.

For the production, she took on the responsibility of not only choreographing the entire two-and-a-half-hour long performance but also directing it, designing the costumes and selecting the music.

“It was quite easy for me because it’s quicker when you know what exactly you want. You don’t have to run around co-ordinating with people, there are lesser opinions involved and a lot of time is saved,” says the hard-working performer. “Krishna was a part of who I am and what I have been. It took me back to my traditions,” she adds.

What one could see in the production and which applies to her in general is that her dance style is very original and innovative. It allows the convergence of classical, folk as well as Bollywood.

“There are people who like to experiment and people who don’t. To each his own! Each artiste has his or her own way — you can go deeper and deeper into one specific form or experiment freely. I personally like to experiment because it increases my knowledge and keeps it interesting,” she says.

She is currently working on India’s first 3D motion-capture film, Kochadaiyaan, a Tamil period film being made by Rajnikanth’s daughter Soundarya R Ashwin.

“It was really fun working on the film and it was nice not to wear make-up and getting too technical for once. It’s fully computerised and a camera is attached to your body suit and face which captures the 360-degree motion,” explains Shobana.

The film, which also has Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Jackie Shroff, will be released on Rajnikanth’s birthday — which is on December 12. “There was no interaction with the other actors since you had to work individually for your scenes.

But what I realised was that when you are performing, it’s all about you and the animator,” adds the graceful actress, who has a lot of dance sequences in the film.

In 1994, Shobana founded Kalarpana, a school for classical bharatanatyam dance in Chennai, which teaches over 200 students.

The school was conceived, created, and developed as a forum of learning, experimenting, teaching and spreading the classical dance form. “Dance is only a small percentage of our entertainment when compared to music, film or poetry.

But I’m glad to see more and more people taking to dancing.”She says that there are no more productions on the cards at the moment. So what are her future plans?

“I’m trying to build my school and the dance season is almost here. So, we’re getting prepared with music and dance. All my students need attention and I intend to give it to them,” she says with pride.