Rhythm Divine : The Yogic Stance
Combining dance and yoga to create that perfect balance with life has been the forte of Hyderabadi based dancer Rajendra Nyathi, whose Natya Yoga is...
Combining dance and yoga to create that perfect balance with life has been the forte of Hyderabadi based dancer Rajendra Nyathi, whose Natya Yoga is touching the lives of many students in Hong Kong Amoga Laxmi S Rajendra Nyathi a Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi artiste from Hyderabad, and a former alumnus of Sarojini Naidu School of arts and communication, University of Hyderabad and recipient of several scholarships, has trained under illustrious Gurus including Professor CV Chandrasekhar, Padmashree Leela Samson, Padmabhushan Swapna Sundari and Dr Adayar K Lakshman. He worked as the Head of Department, Dance in many Indian universities and travelled across the world before training students in Natya Yoga in Hong Kong. Why have you chosen Hong Kong and not India for Natya Yoga? First of all, I have not chosen Hong Kong. There was a requirement for a dancer with good background of yoga to teach foreigners. I was chosen among the 150 applicants and I have been training in Hong Kong since nine years and taught for numerous multinational companies. You have performed across the globe, how was your experience? Performing in other countries is a pleasure, though they don't really know nuances of dances but they are very much impressed by Indian classical dances. There are some students who come to the class with a deep understanding of the subject and ask questions to know more about it. It's also good opportunity for dancers to spread the art form. It's both interesting and challenging. Having studied dance academically, how do you connect the two genres � academics and performance in an art like Bharatanatyam? Having knowledge of academics will always be helpful in taking the art to people. Tradition and dance go hand in hand and always help to communicate really well. How important do you think is learning other allied art forms like music, theatre and percussion for a dancer? It is like having a good meal 'Panchabhaksha Paramannas'. Without the knowledge of music, literature, theatre, fine arts, sculpture and bhangimas, the entire dance would be incomplete. People who have learnt all these art forms are really blessed ones and more successful. What is the relationship between classical dance and Yoga. What does your school, Natya Yoga do? We attribute music, dance and everything to Lord Shiva. We consider him to be Father of Yoga. When we combine both dance and yoga there is energy, production and creation. I have started Natya Yoga to balance the perfection in life. I have named one of my dance institutes Mokshadham meaning - elevating you to Moksha. This happens through dance and yoga. These days online teaching has become rampant. What is your take on so many online teachers these days? I am not really aware of online teaching. It might help in academics but when it comes to dance and music it must always be a guru sishya parampara through which you will understand the importance and finer elements of it. The common myth among youth across the globe today is classical dance serves as a form of physical exercise. Should this be encouraged? It is not a physical exercise. It has the aesthetic beauty and follows lots of rules and regulations which is why it is a Shastra. There are other forms like gym, aerobics which serve as physical exercise. The satisfaction which you get out of learning classical dance is amazing. It gives a balance in life. Classical dance caters to very less an audience as compared to other forms of arts? What do you think is the reason? Classical dance is for the classy mindset and it is difficult for the masses to understand the nuances of it. Earlier it was very difficult for the audience to understand the essence of classical dance but now with the help of special productions using music, dance, content, language, light and setting, it has become easy to understand and enjoy. How do you see your role in the society apart from being a dancer on stage? I don't think I am very comfortable with society. We artistes need a certain patronage and encouragement which we are lacking from the government. The government has to give a relevant platform to every artiste and encourage them. It is only through the arts and dance that a positive change can be brought in the society.