WELLNESS / INVITATION

Gracefully dancing through life, Mrs Rathna Supriya Sridharan inspires the young generation to take to dance as a Wellness option

"Dance has always created an unexplainable experience of divine connect in my life. A surge of beautiful energy starts flowing and it,s an experience that I,d love to hold onto," begins Rathna Supriya Sridharan, a Bharatanatyam exponent, who was recently conferred the title of the Presidentship of Inner Wheel Club of Bangalore Orchards for the year 2020-21. Speaking of which, she says, "A sense of pride, honor and surely it comes with a lot of responsibility to be the custodian of such an elite club. I,d like to attribute it to serendipity as well."

The pandemic has brought forth a new reality-something that has left scores of people overwhelmed. While the "new normal" might have pushed us to change the way we function; Rathna Supriya believes it all boils down to adapting to the new beautiful - as she puts it. And, the secret lies in seizing the moment and making the best use of your innate flair. "Art and artistry are god,s gifts to be shared without boundaries. As artists, we have to give what we are blessed with," she says, further elucidating, "As an artist, I wish to promote the art and culture and traditions that have been passed on since generations. The guru-sishya parampara is something I,d like to do my bit in order to preserve. I,m making a start by presenting an online arangetram of a deserving student of dance."

Having amassed decades of experience, Rathna Supriya is a renowned artist in the south, who wishes to recreate the magic through nuances movements for as long as she can. A doyen of dance, a philanthropist by vision, and mostly importantly, an artist who believes in the magic of serendipity, Rathna Supriya avers that she has always believed in looking spreading the joy of art. Rathna was bestowed with the title Abhinaya Saraswati by the Cambodian Government in the year 2019. She was also awarded the Padmini Ramachandran Memorial Award, which coincided with her completion of 40 years as a Soloist. "Being by myself and experiencing the creation at my best moments-this helps me to keep going irrespective of the curveballs that life throws at me. I,ve come to believe that everything happens for a good reason, and hence every moment of this life is precious and I,m trying to live it to the fullest."

A science graduate from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, Rathna has her Rangapravesam in the year 1979- under the able guidance of her guru Smt. Padmini Ramachandran. And, there has been no looking back, ever since!

Rathna Supriya,s tryst with dancing dates back to 1983, the year when the Nithya Narthana Priya School of Bharatanatyam was founded. The impetus behind the school was simple: To impart and celebrate the sacred knowledge of Bharatanatyam.

Many of her students have completed their 'Arangetram, and have passed the State Dance Examination. One of her students has been the recipient of a Central Government scholarship. Blessed with an eye for art and movement; the danseuse from Bengaluru experienced a turn of events in 1987-88, when Karnataka Sangeetha Nrithya Academy adjudged her as the 'Best Dancer of Karnataka,. As a guru, she was awarded the Kalai Magal Award (Gold Medal), Chennai.

Rooted in reality, Rathna Supriya comes off as an affable person unfettered by the accolades that came her way. Some of the feathers in her kitty include having been felicitated by reputed organizations for her contribution to the art spanning decades - Nrithyakshetra, Natyapriya, Bangalore, by Sri Sahithya Samrajya Nataka Mandali and received the Nadoja Centenarian Prof. G. Venkatasubbiah Global Leadership Award for Excellence in Environment, Social Work and Education & Health - 2013.

As a stay-at-home parent, who meticulously juggles work with play, Rathna Supriya believes prioritizing has helped, and believes in the beauty of routine. "I,m a full-time homemaker and I balance my activities through the week. Technology is a helpline in today,s world and I,m using it to my fullest benefit. I conduct my Bharatnatyam classes online and yes, my sishyas have adapted it well," she smilingly states, suggesting that the future albeit uncertain, is a great thing to look forward to. "Well, there are a volley of projects in the pipeline. But, I,m largely focused on showcasing different group performances, which would definitely go online. And lastly, to create an endowment fund to promote the arts," she says.

Quite like the most of us, the danseuse like to explore myriad passions in her downtime - Interior designing and craft have been long-standing interests, through which she has successfully completed a few projects. Rathna Supriya has also delved deep into the holistic sciences of Pranic Healing, Yoga and Reiki.

Her voice of advice to fledgling artists? "Something we choose, and some things come our way. Make the most of your gift-it,s a beautiful world!"

While the year 2020 is being pegged as a bummer of a year, the doyen of dance has her sights set on the bigger picture. "This year is going to be friendship and service all through," she signs off.