A joy to behold
- Neila Sathyalingam,
I have known Anita
Ratnam for some 30 years, having taught her in Kalakshetra, Madras and
thence befriending her, as a fellow artiste. It is with great pride and
humbleness that, I have seen her reach the astounding international status
she has so very rightly achieved to-date, in her career as a performing
artiste. Her journey, both internal and external, is nothing short of phenomenal.
Her daily quest for excellence in the Arts and her aspiration to set higher
and higher standards for herself, both as a person and as artiste, has
caused her for suffer great trials and personal tribulations, both as an
artiste and as mother, to her two adorable young adult children. This life
journey has helped nurture her as an artiste in an holistic manner, to
further refine her skills, as a mother, daughter, sister, dancer, writer,
activist, humanist, a supporter of young artistic talents, producer, actress
and all round expert commentator of the Indian Arts, globally.
her theatrical magic in Singapore in July, when she presented her breakthrough
solo work "SEVEN GRACES" at the newly opened Gallery Theatre of the National
Museum, during the Magdalena Arts Festival. Her artistic concepts though
abstract and lofty in principles and ideals, DID reach out to most of the
audience. This challenging hour-long dance was received with rapt attention
and pin drop silence from the audience who resonated the fiery energy of
a blazing red clad Anita. The joint efforts between Anita's and former
Singaporean Hari Krishnan's choreography, manifested itself, in some of
the most beautiful moments of dance and expressions of human emotions.
Anita's rigorous classical dance training; piquant facial expressions portraying
a myriad emotions and amazingly clean body lines and movements, did great
justice to moments of utter silence, during the performance. This lent
gravitas to the various types of struggles the protagonist underwent and
thus the repetitious parts of Tara, slipped by, unnoticed.
All in all,
Anita's excellent grasp of the subject matter of a woman's struggle – a
universal theme, vivid facial expressions and a deep and abiding respect
for womanhood, made SEVEN GRACES an absolute JOY TO BEHOLD.
Sathyalingam is the artistic director of Apsaras Arts, Singapore.