KATHMANDU, June 9: Graceful and elegant, Madhavi Mudgal is a renowned Odissi dancer bringing her beautiful art to Nepal.
One of the leading classical dancers of India, she sees herself as an ambassador of the Odissi dance form and through it also the Indian culture, its philosophy and spirituality.
Mudgal is currently in the capital to perform at the two day dance event organized by the Indian Cultrual Center on June 8 and 9.Republica caught up with Mudgal for a conversation. Excerpts:
Can you tell us something about your passion for the art of Odissi dance?
I have been involved with Odissi for more than 30 years now. Initially, I trained in Bharat Natyam and Kathak but when I was introduced to the Odissi, I found it to be a very beautiful and lyrical dance form. It’s very sculptural. Apart from performances, I also conduct workshops, festivals and teach at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in New Delhi. The fact that from oblivion Odissi is now so well recognized makes me feel very satisfied. I have travelled to different parts of the world performing the dance and my troupe and I have been appreciated. In fact, even in South India where Odissi isn’t very well known we are trying to change that through our performances.
You are the recipient of numerous prestigious awards like the Padmashree, the Sanskriti Award and even the Chevalier des l’ordre des Arts et des lettres by the Government of France. How do you feel about your art being so well recognized?
With each award comes more responsibility. When you start your journey as an artist you don’t know what awards you will win. You don’t dance for awards. Of course, it is a great thing that you are recognized and appreciated by the society and it does give you confidence. But, ultimately, it feels great that the art form is recognized.
What do you count as your greatest achievement?
I have had many wonderful moments. It is a wonderful feeling when people tell you that they were able to forget their pain while watching me perform. Knowing that I am reaching out to many people and have touched a chord somewhere, gives me immense happiness and satisfaction. Teaching my students also gives me joy. In our art and culture, the guru-shisya relationship is of great importance. To reach out to young people through art is a very satisfying thing.
After three years, the Indian Cultural Centre is once again presenting us through the medium of Odissi dance. The two day event is being held on June 8 and 9 at Moksh, Patan and Nepalese Army Officers Club, Kathmandu respectively. Accompanied by Madhavi Mudgal are three members of her Odissi dance troupe. The distinguished artist will also perform a solo dance at the event. Odissi is known to be one of the most graceful and feminine of dances. Inaugurating the event is Parmanand Jha, the Vice President of Nepal.