Actor and Bharatanatyam exponent Radica Giri’s philosophy of art is a reflection of American poet Amy Lowell’s famous statement — ‘Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.’
Preparing for her Marghazhi performance on Sunday at the Brahma Gana Sabha, Radica says what drives her is the pure joy she gets and the spirituality she feels when she expresses herself while bringing epics to life through the medium of Bharatanatyam.
At the event, Radica will be performing a margam (where items are performed in a particular order) of curated pieces. The California-based artiste has often performed in Chennai, and her most notable show thus far has been the 2014 piece inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s Chithrangadha. “This year, the performance will be based on River Ganga”, she says.
The performance is a combination of pieces inspired by her Maha Guru, Padma Shri Professor Sudha Rani Raghupathy. “After the Marghazhi performance, I have some plans for the coming months. In October, I am planning a set of shows — ‘Off Margazhi Days’ — which will feature other dance forms along with Bharatanatyam. A few students from my team will travel with me”, says Radica. She feels exposing her students to such big occasions will improve their knowledge and also bolster the guru-shishya relationship. “It is all part and parcel of the guru-shishya tradition, it’s what I have learned from my great gurus.
Sometimes I try to sound like them and share knowledge they way they did with me”, she elaborates.
Radica, who has had some exposure to the world of cinema, isn’t completely closed to that genre. Asked if she had ever thought about making a comeback to films, she says “I have not planned anything. During my stint in the 80s, I was able to be part of some wonderful films and was associated with some great names of that era. I was in Bharathiraja’s Nizhalgal as the heroine, then with Prabhu in Oruvar Vazhum Aalayam etc. I won’t say no if something interesting comes up. But having decided to take break from the field, I have not gone to anyone and asked for a chance”, she concludes.