Monday, September 17, 2012

Virtually There- V7

Experiments can either be a massive hit or if it fails, will be a lesson that can stay with you for a life time. Those who try and succeed leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. Some say, it’s in their blood. Some say, they are gifted. Some say, they worked hard. As I mentioned in VT-V5, I can just be thankful for the appreciation I get each time I experiment, here is the excerpt of my new beginning!

Welcome to Virtually There (VT) – V7, version seven, time to explore the legacy, time to meet a rising star!

I feel it’s not easy to be a star. Plus, to live/continue the legacy that’s been influencing art since four generations is a herculean task. You almost think it is difficult to find an individual who can do all this, but then you meet a lady who is down to earth, willing to improve, already performing wonders, recognized for who she is and not for whom she's following, counting awards, eager to give back to her much loved art, still young and with lots of dreams!

Presenting an interview with “Nalanda Nritya Nipuna” Prateeksha Kashi, danseuse par excellence and woman who defines Virtually there - V7.

Me: Well, before I start, I will say what I know, that you hail from an artistic family of the legendary Dr Gubbi Veeranna and were initiated to dance at a tender age of five. Both your parents are well known actors/artists; mother in particular, has achieved cult status in Kuchipudi- a classical dance form.

Prateeksha: I just feel blessed for the atmosphere at my home. Truly God’s grace. In fact, my mother Vyjayanthi Kashi is my role model, guru, and friend. Being an ace choreographer herself, she never forced me to take up dance; she treats me equal to any other students when we are in the Shambhavi school of Dance, this is the best thing I like about her, when it comes to dance, I am always a student!

Me: I see a hunger to learn in your eyes, that’s good, but, I need to clarify something, we both are sitting at this coffee table of our office, a Tech firm, I wonder, why you are here!

She smiles!

Prateeksha: A lot of people ask me the same question. I have kept doing two things simultaneously. I believe that they'll complement each other, mutually add value, yielding better results in both fields. I was interested in science, so I am a techie today, no matter what, I sneak in time for my evergreen love, Kuchipudi, as long as I can manage both, I am happy doing them together.

Me: Fair enough, as you are already doing things in style, keep rocking! Do you train hard?

Prateeksha: I’ll elaborate. I have a lot of interaction with giants in my field of art, and I have kept improving. I believe in the Guru-Shishya parampara. Knowledge has no money, it only has value. Giving is everything and it’ll make your life more vibrant. You know, all of us are equally talented. Just that, we need to identify the field that drives us. Like I did for dance and you did for literature. Then with passion, one can scale the zenith.

Me: I am honored! I am shooting the last question, what does it take to be on the stage and how does it feel, say at an international level (she has given stage shows worldwide), performing live?

Prateeksha: It takes lot of determination, grit, practice and confidence. Kuchipudi is an amalgam of both drama and dance. Expectations or responsibilities, both just help me come out better. For me performance is like a prayer. When I perform, I thank the art for making me what I am today, I feel at peace with my soul, I give my best, I want my organizers and more importantly, the audience to take home something, worth remembering, true taste of art and lot of joy!

The Conversation continued.

I knew what to give back. I wanted to tell you that even you are equally talented. I knew how people worship art. I wanted you to join the prayer. I knew how to remain grounded and shoot at stars. I wanted you to take the aim and achieve the dream.

Thank you Prateeksha, zenith is not far, may you achieve all your dreams. I can just be thankful!

[This article was originally posted here in ManipalBlog.]

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