Madhuri Suresh Interview: A Dancer's Journey

 
Madhuri Suresh is performing live this 10 August for her solo debut Bharatanatyam performance. Affectionately titled Kamakshi- A Dancer's Journey Within, the dance performance is a showcase of Madhuri's many years of dance studies and a wealth of experience spanning generations. TheGuruSG got an exclusive interview with Madhuri Suresh as she shares more about her journey and her upcoming performance.

Daston: Hello, great to meet you Madhuri. I am ecstatic to have you here at TheGuruSG. Please introduce yourself.

I started Bharatanatyam when I was 5 and since then, I have been dancing for 21 years. I am a Junior Teacher and Senior Dancer at the Temple Of Fine Arts Singapore. I have also done Folk dance and Odissi, but my main focus is Bharatanatyam.

Daston: That's many years of experience, very impressive. Could you tell us more about your relationship with your grandmother, Shrimathi Kamakshi Jayaraman? I understand she is a huge influence in your life.

My grandmother was in Singapore for a while but left for India soon after I was born. We did not have much physical interaction, but in the last few years, we have plenty of facetime. As grandma is very experienced in Indian dance, I got to learn more about the art through her. Even though grandma is not physically dancing anymore, she still holds that fiery passion for dance. The energy my grandma gives out, the passion that she emits inspires me to do better every day. That is the role she plays in my life, more than just family, she has given me a lot to aspire to.

Daston: I can already feel your deep passion for Bharatanatyam, not surprised that you are a fantastic student!

Thanks! Grandma is actually my teacher’s teacher, so through all the other teachers who have learned from my grandmother, it feels like I’ve learnt directly from her as well. 

Daston: I guess the best has to learn from the best! So what can we expect from your performance?

I conceptualized the dance routine to show someone reflecting on her dance journey. I started dancing with many insecurities and doubts, but I realized later on that it is the journey I should focus on. Dance became a significant part of my life, uplifting me when I feel low. The performance is an amalgamation of mine and my grandma’s life journey to tell a story. I want the audience to have something to reflect on their lives and to uplift them. It is not simply another “dance performance”. Everybody has a point in their lives where they have self-doubt and insecurities. What matters is that we pick ourselves up and keep moving forward. It can be a vicious cycle, but we can break out of it. I hope with this performance, I can inspire people to reflect on this and uplift them into higher spirits.

Daston: Wow! That's deeply philosophical and an excellent takeaway, definitely uplifting. I notice your 10 Aug performance is just after National Day, any reason for that?

*laughs* There is no specific reason for that, but I wanted the date close to my grandmother’s birthday which is on the 16th of August. I had to find an auditorium in August and thankfully I got it.

Daston: I'm glad you got the venue you were looking for. Any difficulties you faced thus far?

I am doing this for the first time, so I am lucky to have the Temple of the Arts to back me up. Booking the auditorium and the operations behind the event was challenging, but I got through it with the help of friends. I also needed great time management as I have school work to do. Juggling my university academics and dance choreography practice is not easy, but I have an excellent orchestra supporting me on top of my mentor Shrimathi Priyadarsini Govind from Chennai who has helped guide me on the creative process. My mentor has given me the tools to find the answer myself, rather than hand feed me each answer, and so I am grateful for that. Shrimathi Chitra Poornima on the vocals and Kumari Lakshmi Krishnan on the nattuvangam have also been providing me with a lot of advice which I value dearly. 

Daston: Well the best way to learn is to find the answers by yourself and I agree! Thank you for the wonderful interview and I can’t wait to watch your performance LIVE this coming 10th of August at the Drama Centre- Black Box. 

Thank you for having me, I hope to see you there!


Catch up with Madhuri Suresh on Instagram below!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Madhuri Suresh (@distantloverr) on

 
 
 
 

To get your invitations to Kamakshi- A Dancer's Journey Within on 10 August, click HERE. For more information regarding the performance, click HERE. Hope to see you there soon!
 

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