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Prof CV Chandrasekhar on receiving Padma Bhushan

As I stand at this threshold, receiving such an honour, I am ecstatic, emotional and nostalgic.I reminisce my entire life gone by, my triumphs and odds, a beautiful career in dance...
As the Indian Government announces the highest civilian awards for unparalleled contributions and selfless services, it is now time for the art community to show gratitude, laud and salute our luminaries for all their effort! The Kalaparva brings you an exclusive tribute featuring Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar having been adorned with the Padma Bhushan for the field of Bharatanatyam.

C.V. Sir or C.V Anna as he is popularly called is a doyen, a standing example of how art can influence lives and people. A google search in his name might show adjectives in the likes of scholar, academician, composer, choreographer and dancer but one has to talk to him to realize how these are just mere words and the man is way beyond and above these- a person full of life and art occupying it to the brim.

“As I stand at this threshold receiving such an honour, I am ecstatic, emotional and nostalgic. I reminisce my entire life gone by, my triumphs and odds, a beautiful career in dance filled with opportunities, experiences worth sharing and health that has been a diligent incentive making me feel younger today”- he quips enthusiastically.

Being a male dancer of the 1960’s and laterally pursuing academics, his life has been characterized by immense family support on one hand and stills of paradox in derogatory remarks by the art media. Tiding over this he has continued to be a vehement ‘Bharatanatyam only’ practitioner spreading his work and experience in ways he knows best, silencing the critics. He is today known as the most humble human being that ever existed in the art field.

In the words of Renjith Babu, his senior disciple,-”He has been a father to me teaching me precious things of life. Apart from sharing his art, he has paved way to experience myself. If something has to be imbibed, then it has to be the humility and discipline that he has led his life with”.

In a performance psyched arena of dance, Prof Chandrashekar (as his name rightly has the Prof tag), is arguably the only torch bearer of inculcating the importance of dance education. Serving in the Banaras Hindu University and the M.S. University of Baroda as the faculty of dance, he has nurtured several young artistes in what he calls ‘Institutionalized learning’, something he strongly relies on.

“Being in an institution exposes a student to exploit every latent talent in him. It gives a lot of scope through rigorous study and practice of dance and allied subjects. One is fully equipped as he graduates from the institute. But I am very unhappy with the way dance education is conducted today. Everybody gets an MA from Universities where numerous teachers teach individual subjects which at the end of it becomes a collection of items”.

Praveen Kumar from Bangalore, one of his noted students willingly shares “C.V. Sir is somebody who would teach you the art, not the items. He would share knowledge, not the repertoire. He is a store house of art and intellect at the same place and you need to only go in search for this. He would make you raise your bar as an artiste.”

At 75, when Prof Chandrasekhar takes to the stage, he gives jitters to youngsters what with his stamina and perfection in his dance. His strong belief in basics and tuning the body has been his greatest strengths and today with another milestone achieved he says “An award is an added responsibility to continue work, relegate it to the next generation. I would love to talk to dancers, take workshops and urge them to go to basics. I would not do a blah blah that tradition is going to dogs, for tradition as I myself believe is a river which accumulates everything along and continues to flow. As an optimist, youngsters today have the capacity and would carry it in a healthy manner”.

Both Praveen and Renjith substantiate this by saying how even in a Tattadavu or Alaripu they would have so much to learn when he teaches. They are elated at the news and Praveen feels it was the best birthday gift that he could have got while Renjith says it was much deserved and saw it in the coming!
As for C.V sir, he is excited to share the joy of receiving the award with the 500 odd callers who wish him everyday! Kalaparva congratulates the stalwart.

1 comment:

Pranith said...

I liked his analogy of tradition and river. So true, yet seems so evading!

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