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Elemental and Evolving
Malavika Sarukkai on her 50 Years in Dance
One of the most remarkable dancers of today, Malavika Sarukkai, is celebrating 50 years in dance this year. Her arangetram took place in Mumbai on March 6, 1972, launching a luminous trajectory that stands out both for the intense perfection of her dance and the deeply considered and profoundly felt aspects of her choreography.
Over the years her dance and her choreography have evolved from the traditional performance structure – the margam – to examining relationships between humankind, and humankind and the universe in the context of our contemporary existence. The performances are suffused with both the personal and the philosophical responses to the inquiries she unravels through the piece.
In this window into her processes, Malavika will engage in a conversation about the development of her dance and choreography. To listen to an artist of this calibre speak about her art: the subtle adaptation of hand gestures – hasta mudras – to signify different emotional aspects, stagecraft and the use of space and light to convey concept and narrative, the component of music and how she develops it to synchronise with the dance, the wide-range of influences that enter her dance, is truly a privilege.
Malavika will be in conversation with Indira Chandrasekhar.
In collaboration with International Music and Arts Society
Malavika Sarukkai is a globally acclaimed Indian classical dancer and choreographer specialising in Bharatanatyam. She has contributed a significant and large body of work in solo and group choreographies, making her mark as one who imaginatively reworks tradition. Committed to an internalized creative dance process, her choreographies embody originality, intelligence, mastery of technique and a vitalized movement vocabulary, to inventively relate the world of dance to the world around us.She has performed at many places in India and abroad, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at Chicago.
A firm believer in tradition and change her choreographic interpretations extend the boundaries of Bharatanatyam to reveal the incandescent beauty of the classical language of dance with the energized articulation of a contemporary mind. Her collaborative productions have synergized through dialogues with poets, musicians, painters, art historians and contemporary writers.
Malavika Sarukkai continues to blaze a trail with thought provoking productions in the dance firmament making her one of India’s legendary dancers and living masters whose distinctive and meditative quality of dance continues to impact a generation of dancers and dance enthusiasts.
A 2002 winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, she was honoured by the Government of India in 2003 with the Padma Shri. Sarukkai is also a recipient of the Kalaimamani title from the Government of Tamil Nadu and other awards such as Mrinalini Sarabhai Award, Nrityachoodamani title, Sanskriti award and the Haridas Sammelan award.
Dr. Indira Chandrasekhar is a scientist, a writer, a literary curator and the founder and principal editor of Out of Print, one of the primary platforms for short fiction bearing a connection to the Indian subcontinent. An anthology celebrating ten years of the magazine was brought out by Context Books in December 2020 and a collection of her short stories, Polymorphism, was published by HarperCollins.