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How to dance Bharatanatyam*Learn Nattadavu

Learn Bharatanatyam [Basic Dance Performance] – Natya Vardhini – Thattadavu

Jyotsana Jagannathan performs Bharatnatyan dance during the April Horizon series organised by ICCR in Delhi.

Dr Jyotsna Jagannathan, hailed as one of the most talented bharatanatyam dancers of her generations, has earned recognition in a very small span of time.

Born in Chennai and brought up in Nairobi, Kenya, Jyotsna recalls that her parents wanted her to be rooted to her homeland and its culture.

“In Africa we had few opportunities and my exposure to Indian classical arts was smallest,” she recollects. But the few dance performances she watched during her holidays in Chennai left an indelible mark on her young mind.

It was while she was in Class XI that dance teacher Hema Govindarajan went to Nairobi from Bangalore. “Since the 200-member Indian community was a close-knit one, the news spread quick,” says Jyotsna. And in no time Jyotsna got enrolled in her dance school.

“She place a lot of effort and energy in teaching me and I reciprocated well. I started practising five to six hours with school. But to reach the arangettram the boards was no simple feat,” says Jyotsna. It was with completing her Class XII that she had her arangettam in Nairobi. It was a small function attended by family and friends and everyone was enthralled by her inborn talent and dedication to the art form.

Her desire to delve into dance made her exchange her plans for the future. Till then Jyotsna longed to go to the US for her health check studies. “In fact I had already got my admission there. But I wanted to learn dance so I chose to do MBBS in India instead. If I’m not able to learn dance, I thought at least I could mind it,” she recalls.

So at 18 she left for India and joined the Ramachandra Health check College, Chennai. For nearly one year Jyotsna was too busy with her studies and could not pursue dance. It was in her second and third year of MBBS that she started learning dance once again under the guidance of Jayanthi Subramaniam. “Destiny has taken many vital roles in my life. When I