Bala Devi Chandrashekar, disciple of Guru Dr Padma Subrahmanyam is a Bharatanatyam exponent and scholar. She visited Hyderabad with a mission to bring her dance production Karna to Hyderabad.
Says Bala Devi, “I am a domain expert in Public Administration and used to lecture on Leadership strategies in corporate including ASCI. Dance started as a passion, but is finally the only mission that remains in my life. For me, interpretation of Karna and other spiritual concepts by the practice of classicism is a form of communication across different cultures in the world. Today, it is very important for all artistes to think global and bring in the thought of ‘Oneness’. There is no need to segment art and culture on the lines of religion, caste or creed. After all we have had civilisations which have been very similar to cultures across the world, and we are still discovering such fascinating civilisations every day. There is a need to appreciate each other’s work globally and young dancers have to get into the depth of each nuance, by internalising their thought process”.
And why did it take two years for Bala Devi to zero in on the production Karna? Says the artiste, “It is important to challenge oneself with a complex subject wherein one debates about Karna, whether he was right or wrong. I am well versed in five languages and this helps me understand the intellectual and social aspects which are more or less universal in nature. One must always have the zeal to read and encompass knowledge from all sides. I conduct workshops on Natya Shastra, 108 Karnas, Abhinaya and Nritta; to put the young students on the right path by making them understand the relevance of the art form in their life” concludes Bala Devi.
— JAYWANT NAIDU
Musician, Creator of ‘Jaywant Guitar’ and a freelance photographer