Lakshmi Vishwanathan

1 Books

Just want to say.....I am lecturing a lot more based on my research and published books! The book WOMEN OF PRIDE - the Devadasi heritage is such an eye opener to audiences....

Sure it is quite a challenge to speak to diverse audiences, and more so when I illustrate with old photos AND dance some pieces from the essential repertoire of the bygone era.

Recent lectures : Nehru center London, and UTSAV in Washington DC.IGNCA With Bangalore International Centre on Nov 8 the at Bangalore.

SANCAHRI BHAVA for Kalakshetra on Nov 15Season in Chennai always a challenge as I do something new. And a lecture on THANJAVUR for Kartik Fine Arts Lotus conference.


 Interview With Lakshmi Viswanathan

Lakshmi Viswanathan, a disciple of Kanchipuram Elope Pillai, performed her arranger in 1953. She has received training in Carnatic music and learnt Padas from T Mukta. She learnt Kichadi from Guru Vimpat China Satyam.

Lakshmi's abhinaya has been described as visual music. She is a choreographer, teacher and writer on dance and culture. Besides writing the book 'Bharatanatyam - the Tamil Heritage,' she has also directed a documentary 'Poetry of Dance.' Her book 'Women of Pride-The Devadasi Heritage' released on Dec 12, 2008 is about the Devadasi tradition of dance in the temples of Tamil Nadu.

She was the artistic director of the first Malappuram Dance Festival in 1991 and was twice elected as vice-president of the Music Academy. A recipient of the Nritya Codomain, Lakshmi Viswanathan has been convener of the Natyam Kala Conference for two years.

Is there any place at all for solo dancing any more?

There is place for solo dancing. The dancer who chooses her repertoire carefully and does each number with variety and tempo in mind can hold her audience.

With audiences making a beeline to the door after a varna, how do we retain interest in padas?

I do not see any current dancers dancing any padas worth mentioning. So where is the question of any worry that audiences don't sit and watch after the varanid. It is the extra long varnas with no worthy merit in content that probably drives audiences away.

Crisp varnas in tempos which do not drag and aim to show all that a dancer can show in mythology, should be edited so that the varna itself is restored to its original glory as a center piece without making it a burden on lay viewers.

Where do we draw the line for stringer on stage? Must we not take into context the audience and place before choosing our repertoire? (Egg; doing highly erotic padas, for a young audience)

For children, don't dance erotic padas! For adults, include sensuous padas, treat the subject with the subtleties available in plenty in the histrionic and technical aspects of classical dance - subtlety is the key word....not exaggeration either in ideas, content or expression. Srinagar depicts love.... not lust.

Who is your five author? What are you now reading?

I am reading Rushdie - a slow read of a master craftsman. I have no favorites as I don't indulge in fiction reading. For me, Neelakandan Shastri on the Cholas or Balasubramanian in Tamil on the Nayaks is more exciting.



All Lakshmi Vishwanathan's Books

View Another Authors