9th May 2003 - Page 3
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Odissi was a dance performed in temples and like a language, reveals its story through each hand gesture, facial expression and body movement. Like a poem, its beauty can be seen at both the surface, as well as at a deeper level. Like a moving sculpture, its perfect movements of grace mesmerize and enthrall those who watch. Our school had the honour of watching a Lecture Demonstration on Odissi by Madhavi Mudgal and her disciples which was presented by Spic Macay. The editorial board had the pleasure to interview her. 

1). You have learnt Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi. Which dance style do you feel most comfortable with?
Definitely Odissi as it lets me express myself more. Its offers expressions that convey soft, lyrical and graceful meanings.

2). After having performed in Mexico, Vienna, South Africa, Austria, Brazil, France and London, in what way do you think performing for western audiences is different from performing for audiences in India?
In India, one assumes that young people, even if they pretend they are westernised, have mythology in their genes. In the west, only the power of art speaks.

3). Do you think that today, classical dance is being given its due importance?
Well a lot more can be done. Exposure should ideally be given at childhood and there are some people who wish to have the chance to learn classical dance but they lack the resources and exposure to this form of dance.

4).What were the role of your gurus in your motivation for success?
A lot! I am where I am because of them but the inclination of the students is what makes the difference.

5). What, according to you, is the ideal celebration of World Dance Day, 29th April?
On that day people should be exposed to dance perfomances. Also, everybody should ideally dance on that day.

6). What attracted you to classical dance?
The multiple layers and depths which you encounter in classical dance attracts me to it. You can either look at just the surface meaning or look at the deeper meaning. You can find as deep a meaning as you wish.

7). To what extent do you think being born into a family of musicians has helped you to reach where you are today?
Unless you understand music you canít dance. 
Understanding the firm elements of music help in mastering the rhythm of dance.

8). What, in your opinion, is the essence of Odissi?
Odissi to me will always represent lyricism, sculpturism, gracefulness and great beauty and meaning.

9). What message would you like to give to the aspiring dancers of our school?
Work extremely hard for everything always and the result will come on its own.

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