Dr Gayathri Subramanian- The Right Blend of Talent and Spirituality - Seema Shyam
Dr. Gayathri Subramanian

Dance is just an art form for most of us. But for performers like Gayathri Subramanian, Dance is life, a new color and a passionate experience that cannot be replaced by anything else. As a student of Music College, Thiruvananthapuram, Gayathri was quite surprised by the pictures of the mudras that were stuck on the walls for student reference. She found that none of them matched with what she was taught right from her childhood. The knowledge that she had accumulated from her Guru Nattuvam Paramasivam from Tanjore made her sternly believe that what was found on the walls were completely different. The confused Gayathri did open up her mind to her mother, but she had to wait until next day to get cleared off her doubts. The well trained Bharatnatyam dancer was thus introduced to Kerala Natanam, the dance form she has never even heard of before.

Today, Gayathri Subramanian is one of the best performing artists of this very dance form- Kerala Natanam. Kerala Natanam, the dance form created by Guru Gopinath, is an evolution of Kathakali. It does stick on to the basic rules of Natya Sasthra, but on the other hand, it exhibits an individuality of its own. The Mudras as well as the Rasas are completely different from those of Bharatnatyam. The unique nature of the dance form was the major reason what the dancer in Gayathri was attracted towards.

The love and passion Gayathri had towards Kerala Natanam made her take steps to come closer to Kathakali. She became a student of Vembayam Appukuttan to know more about Kerala Natanam. As a performer, she was invited to perform Bharatnatyam in Taiwan, where she got an opportunity to demonstrate Kerala Natanam. At the International Trade Fair attended by 40 countries, her demonstrations on Kerala Natanam got recognized and she was invited to perform Kerala Natanam at Moscow.

The passion towards Kerala Natanam made Gayathri master the art form to the core. The recognitions that she received from Kerala Natanam is a proof for this. She has received the prestigious Nrityajyothi Award by Naveen Kalakar, Orissa and the Yuva Prathibha Puraskar by the National Culture Mission, Orissa.

Natya Shasthra, which was once a subject chosen for a seminar by her is now her first and last love. She studied deep about the subject, with the help and support of Vembayam Appukuttan and Natya Shasthra Unnikrishnan. Her passion towards Kerala Natanam made her develop a new art form which she calls Shasthra Nrithyam. This is based on Natya Shastra, Chapter 4-Thandavalakshanam. The peculiar feature that we find in this dance form is the use of Tabla, which is a North Indian instrument rarely used in South Indian dance forms.

At present, Gayathri performs Kerala Natanam and Bharathnatyam which are choreographed by her. She has choreographed Sri Swathi Thirunal Krithis for Kerala Natanam & Mohiniyattam, Subramania Bharathiyar Krithis for Kerala Natanam & Bharathnatyam and Kathakali Patham lyrics for Kerala Natanam. 

Some of the dance performances choreographed by her are Natyasamanuayam, Butterfly lovers, Nathyasangamam, Narthanathalam, Story of Maruths, Mukthi and Beevi Nanma Malayalam. She has also performed the story of Gandhari for Amrutha Channel. She is the recipient of Senior Scholarship for Dance from the Department of Culture Government of India (2002), Award for Young Artist from the Guru Gopinath Trust, Kerala (2002), Award from Sri Sri Ravishankar for the training give to the participants of PUNARNAVA, the Mega Mohiniyattom Performance (2006), The Guru Gopinath Trust Award NATYARATNA (2009), Swathy Vandanam Puraskar (2013), Noonkalabharathy Award by Karur Natyanjali Trust, Karur Tamilnadu, Nrithyajyothi Award by Naveen Kalakar National Young Dancers Festival, Odisha (2014), Sri Jayadev Rashtriya Yuva Prathibha Puraskar by National Culture Mission, Odisha and Devadasi Sashimani Devi Smriti Puraskar, Odisha (2016)

To be a performing artist, according to Dr.Gayathri Subramanian, one has to have great passion towards the art form, dedication and apart from both of these, one need to be spirituality enlightened. Without a spiritual zest, one might not be able to perform to perfection. Watching her perform, we do find that dance is the result of the spirituality that she posses in her. 

Add Your Comments