Noted classical dancer/model/actress Shama Krishna, answers the following questions, in an exclusive interview with us.
- A: Being an only daughter to my parents, I have always received undivided attention from them. It was my mother’s love for dance that led to my enrolment in a Bharatanatyam dance school, run by Guru Kalamandalam Smt. Usha Datar. Though I was learning dance since my school days, it was only when I reached college that my passion for dance touched greater heights. Modelling and acting happened by chance. A Television director spotted me during a performance and offered me a role. After a lot of inhibitions, I finally relented and did my first show. My love for acting got a boost from then on.
- Tell us about your dance/acting/modelling journey?
A: The mainstream of my life has always been dance and shall remain so. I have completed my Vidwat level in dance. After my Arangetram and many performances later, I decided to take this passion further and joined several dance workshops. I began to learn Kuchipudi from Guru Smt. Veena Murthy Vijay. Receiving a National level Government scholarship, winning prizes in many National level competitions, graded me as an “A” grade artist by Doordarshan Kendra. Being empanelled amongst the top artists of our country by ICCR, receiving awards and recognition from several organizations, has made me more focused and responsible as an artiste. It was a dream come true for me, when I got a chance to complete my Masters in Fine Arts – Bharatanatyam degree under the notable Guru Padmabhushan Dr. Padma Subramaniam.
I have acted in the following serials on Doordarshan; Kana, Mallika Parinaya, Marmada Kogile, Badige Mane etc. I also did anchoring for a variety of television shows. Some other serials which brought me recognition and fame were, MayaMruga, KamanaBillu, Adisidaleshodha, Aththige, Saptapadi, Kannadi, Laali, Naaku Tanti, Kusumanjali, Ni Nadeva Haadiyali, Shivaleelaamrutha, Avalakki Pavalakki, Amma Ninagagi and Alaguli Mane. I have modelled for brands like, KSIC, Prestige cookers, Shakthi Silks, KMF Nandini and more.
* What is the importance of dance in your life?
A: Dance is pure bliss, my experience of God, meditation, fun excitement, exercise, yoga, my best companion, my biggest challenge, my dream fulfilled and the journey is still on. I believe that people are born with a purpose, and I feel that the purpose of my life is certainly dance.
- Did you face any major challenges/hurdles in this field? What were they and how did you overcome them?A: The biggest challenge was managing time for all my activities. It required a lot of planning, convincing people to co-operate with me and immense hard work. It would get very stressful at times, but I could get through with it, only because at the end of the day, the results were very gratifying. My lifestyle did not fit into the “Normal” lifestyles of other people. I also had to put up with cynical people who thought that I was being greedy. Since all these activities required me to be most presentable at all times, maintaining fitness was also a challenge. Waking up at 5 Am for a Gym session or walking, shooting sessions from 8 Am to 9 Pm, practising dance till 11 Pm or beyond, after returning home, was how my normal schedule looked like. My days were always packed and the schedule was tiring. I guess that I could get through it all, only because I love my work.
- Tell us about your dance school?A: I run a dance school – “SHRADDHA DANCE CENTRE” in Vyalikaval, Bengaluru. With a strength of about 120 enthusiastic students, my dance school is a place where I learn more than I teach. I teach so I can learn better. My students are various reflections of me and my life. We have a lot of interactive sessions, music oriented sessions, general discussions as a part of our curriculum. My students have performed along with me and separately in many prestigious events, including the Udaya TV Film awards, Udaya TV Kutumba awards, Bengaluru International Arts festival, Dharamasthala Mastabhisheka etc. Many of my students have completed their Arangetram and are currently pursuing their M.A. in Bharatanatyam.
- Tell us about the awards you have been bestowed with?
A: To name a few important ones,
ARYABHATTA AWARD for the best upcoming dancer.
ROTARY CLUB VOCATIONAL AWARD
YUVAKALAPRATHIBA PURUSKAR from BCKA, Bengaluru
KALAYOGI PURUSKAR – Youth Writers Association
- What are the qualities one needs to have to excel in this field?
A: An undeterred passion and interest in the art. Patience and perseverance to go on, despite the circumstances. Humility to accept failures and criticism. Being brave and good public speaking skills.
Tell us about your daily routine?
- A: I don’t follow any particular routine. I just go by the day as it unfolds as I believe in doing things differently each day.
- Name one person who has influenced your life?
A: All my Gurus.
- What struggles does one encounter to come up in this field?
A: Resources to support oneself while learning, Initial Investment, consistency in creativity, PR skills and finding trustworthy friends
- Any major incident in connection with this field that has influenced or changed your life?
A: I had attended a residential workshop called “Parampara”, some time back. This experience changed my outlook towards learning dance. It was my turning point.
- What is your message to the dance/modelling aspirants?
A: Just follow your heart. Don’t get bogged down by what people say. Be honest and sincere in your efforts. Don’t run after success. All the best!
Shama Krishna comes across as a very warm and wise person. She is always ready with answers, to your questions. In short, she is beautiful inside out!