Ace Bharatanatyam dancer Priya Hema Bhawaneedhin will perform at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on Feb. 20 to raise funds for charities…reports Rajitha Saleem
For a girl born and brought up in UK, finding her roots back to India needed a medium and Bharatanatyam provided Priya Hema Bhawaneedhin exactly that.
Parents of Priya were trying to find a means by which they can introduce their six year old daughter to their cultural traditions in a foreign land, and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London provided the perfect setting. Priya started learning the classical dance of Bharatanatyam from a young age and was performing in public stages from 12 onwards. She has been active on the Bharatanatyam arena dancing regularly for the events at Bhavans and for various charity events for the last 20 years.
Priya is performing at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on February 20, where she will present `Nrityollaasa—bliss of dance,’ in aid of two charities–Headway, improving lives after acquired brain injury in England and Laventure, a technical school for disabled, Mauritius.
“Bharatanatyam helps you to know more about your cultural values and traditions of our country. More than a dance form, it is a discipline which shapes your entire personality. It has made me who I am,” said Priya.
“The most important performance of mine till date was when I danced on stage in Wembley when Prime Minister Modi came to UK, “said Priya. She remembers with pride the time she toured India in 2015 with her teacher Prakash Yadagudde, when they had performances all over the state of Karnataka.
“We had also performed in Mauritius, when the government invited us to perform at the Mahatma Gandhi centre and it was the first time someone from this part of the world has performed there, “added a visibly proud Priya.
Priya feels she is fortunate to be learning under the guidance of her guru, who has been teaching at Bhavans for more than 25 years. “The character I find commendable in my guruji is that he pushes every student of his to their fullest potential,” said Priya who loves the raga Charukesi which is known to incite feelings of pathos and devotion in the listener.
Priya, a trained psychologist, has been teaching young kids Bharatanatyam at a local temple in Crawley, and feels that even though the contemporary dance forms are interesting, one needs to keep the 3000 year old tradition of classical dance forms of India alive by encouraging them more and more.