Dance performance by Deepa Seetharaman 
- Rukmini Ramani, Chennai 
January 24, 2007 

Our Indian culture is sustained and grown by our art forms.  The divinity in our epics and mythology reflects in our art. We are always viewing our art forms with God such as dancing Nataraja, flute playing Krishna, Saraswathi on the Veena, Narada's and Gandharva's songs and drums of Nandi. Bharatanatyam is a mix of several art forms.

Dancers internalize the songs through their knowledge of music and learn to display their meaning through their face and body movements. They understand the 'jathis' and express the rhythms of mridangam and nattuvangam beautifully through their feet.  Dance as an art form is a combination of 'Mudras,' 'theermanams,' a variety of 'adavus' and the co-ordination of hands, legs, face, eyes and the entire body.

An artist has to completely forget oneself and become one with the art. Only then they reach an exalted state and express themselves to take the audience to a state of happiness.  For this, the artists must have the benefits of good deeds from their previous births, God's grace and Guru’s blessings. Deepa Seetharaman came in as a beautiful maiden with all these blessings combined on Dec 31, 2006 at 7:30pm in the Hamsadhwani auditorium and gave a dance performance. That night it seemed like the moon has come to earth in the form of a girl and danced to immerse all of us in the sea of happiness. The first song she took was 'Neela Kantam' in the 'thishra nadai.' This was followed by Ashta Raga Malikai and 'Maanikkam Katti' in Raga Malika showing the mischievous little Krishna.  The concert ended appropriately with a Thillana in Brindavana Saranga.

Every movement, 'adavu' and ‘theermanam’ proved the dancer's self-confidence, involvement and her dedication to the art form. Her eyes spoke volume. This girl has talent, good figure, grace and beauty and during her performance she reminded us of several great dancers of the past. There is no doubt that through the divine grace of Lord Nataraja, she will surely have a very big future and a permanent stage.

She showed expressions and emotions better than the girls who were born, brought up and learned the art in Tamilnadu. However, only with repeated practice the art form will become one with her body and soul and she can express it with greater inner experience and enjoyment. The best way to achieve that is for her to continue her practice and every time she dances she should become one with the emotion. To become a great dancer in a short time, one should not wait for an opportunity to perform but consider every day practice as a stage performance. Our blessings for a total success. 

Dr. Rukmini Ramani is the daughter of Papanasam Sivan, and Retired Professor of Tamilnadu Music College, Chennai.