Vaishnavi Srinivasan and Shreya Murthy, get together to discuss their current state-of-mind and concerns that pertain to the world of dance and dancers

In this edition of Aavartana, we decided to connect Vaishnavi Srinivasan (from Chennai) with Shreya Murthy (from Singapore) with each other, and let them have a candid conversation.

Vaishnavi is a disciple of Roja Kannan and Shreya, who had her initial training at The Singapore Fine Arts Society, currently trains under Priyadarshini Govind in Chennai.

When they met online – at the time we had this conversation, Shreya happened to be in Singapore – the two young dancers launched into a conversation, instantly, catching up with where they are in the now, segueing seamlessly to discuss concerns, and challenges that they contend with in the context of the world of dance.

The dancers shared their experiences on how they juggled their time and energy between academics and learning dance and also discussed the possibility of taking a break from books and work to pursue dance full-time. Clearly, the duo seems like they are in a happy place, with dance occupying a significant chunk in their lives, than before.

Shreya acknowledged the fact that moving base to Chennai has opened up her perspectives and possibilities in terms of dance. “Being constantly in an environment that gives you opportunities to watch performances, every other day, and to be able to think about dance constantly and almost be wrapped in that feeling is a new experience and one that’s truly enriching,” she said.

Vaishnavi agreed with Shreya and together, the dancers discussed the possibility of continuing to dance, full-time or go back to academics. It’s obvious both of them are passionate about academics but nothing at the cost of dance. Amen to that!

Next up, the dancers talked about how dance is evolving with the younger, more modern generation. They felt encouraged to see a variety of new ideas and subjects being presented in performances alongside neo mudras that are emerging to show modern technology. While love and pining are represented with scenarios from the modern world, they acknowledged that it would take a while for it all to gain acceptance in the dance world. They finally came to the conclusion that everything is possible if one is conscious of their tradition but tweaking it just a little to make it relevant to the world that we live in.

The dancers then moved on to one of the eternal favorite topic of dancers – online vs offline classes and mediums of learning. Shreya talked about the potential of the online medium and how it has given an opportunity to dancers all around the globe to participate in workshops, view conferences and performances happening in Chennai.

Vaishnavi said, “Online classes are great, when we have no choice.” She conceded that she learnt many new pieces and performed them too and was glued to her Zoom screen, every day during the years of the lockdown, but honestly, her memory of the items learnt online, she said was hazy and required constant revision, in comparison to the pieces she learnt, in person in a class environment.

The dancers finally concluded with the discussion of their favorite performance in the recently concluded December Music and Dance season. Curious to know what they said? Watch this video!

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Supported by

Devata: Guardians of Dance

BLK D Goodman Arts Centre

#01-24 90 Goodman Road Singapore 439053