Dance matters

telly talk

Dance matters

Considering that she has a BA from Mithibai College, Mumbai and an MA in Economics, she is rather overqualified to be an actor. She is also a dancer par excellence who fought a serious accident and yet bounced back.

Meet Sudha Chandran — dancer, actor and performer who has, today, made an indelible mark on the entertainment scene in the country.

“Dance was always a part of me, like a gift from my parents. My mom was a classical singer. I guess I had to be a dancer even before I was born,” she says. In fact, acting was never the career option she had dreamt of. “Like any middle class South Indian family, my parents had made it clear to me that it was very important that I got a good education. I was a very intelligent student and education was naturally on top of my priorities. As a child, I was always focused on schooling and dancing,” she explains.

Dance, back then, was only a hobby and she had never imagined it would be her career. According to her, art is god’s gift. An accident in which she lost her foot did not deter her and she returned to dancing using a prosthetic Jaipur foot. Incidentally, this inspired the 1984 Telugu film Mayuri, in which she played the lead. The movie was also remade in Hindi as Nache Mayuri in 1986. She also got the Special Jury Award at the National Film Awards for her performance.

“Destiny always has something else in store for you. It was after my first movie that I started thinking of acting in a serious way,” she says. It’s the cliché of being at the right place at the right time that worked for Sudha, as far as television is concerned. Her journey in television too has been impressive. As Ramola Sikand in Ekta Kapoor’s daily soap Kaahin Kissii Roz, she garnered attention for her over-the-top look, heavy sarees, chunky jewellery and huge bindis as much for her hard hitting portrayal of the character.

Her other appearances on television have also been impactful, including her roles in K Street Pali Hill and Kuch Iss Tara, both produced by Ekta Kapoor. She currently stars in Jhilmil Sitaaron Ka Angan Hoga on Sahara One. “I accept roles only when I know I will be the central character. In all my shows to date, I have been fortunate to play good roles,” she says.

She also participated in the second season of the reality dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, on Sony TV. “I do not intend to participate in any reality shows as this one was quite far from reality,” she says. However, she enjoys her role as a judge on the popular reality show Super Dancer Junior Series on Amrita TV. “Reality shows are extremely interesting as they provide a great platform to showcase the immense talent in our country. Also, this one is not based on the illogical SMS system where viewers vote and decide, rather than relying on the judgment of experts judging the show. It’s a wonderful experience for me as I get to teach the children a little of what I know and I’ve learnt so much from them,” she says.

Incidentally, Sudha has opened the Sudha Chandran’s Nache Mayuri Dance Academy that conducts classes all across Mumbai and has given over 1,200 stage shows in India, UK, USA, Europe, Middle East, Thailand and Africa among other countries. Quiz her on what else she is looking forward to do in the future and she has a simple answer. “God has been very kind to me and my work has been very satisfying. I have garnered a lot of respect. I have no regrets and am happy, so I do not really plan for my future. I am sure that more good work will come my way.” Amen to that.

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