It has been some time that we at A Journalist Reveals wrote about artists. We recently found Mandeera Manish, who is a Gold Medallist in her field of Bharatanatyam. She agreed to do an interview with us and this is what she had to say for our questions:
When did the classical bug bite you?
I started dancing at a very early age but got into serious dancing only when I was in grade 5.
Is your family into classical dance? If no, how did your parents allow you take up this art as a profession?
No. We do not belong to a classical dance family. My mum enrolled me for dance class in order to keep me occupied and fit. She probably also thought I’d be tired after the class and not trouble her too much when I get back home (Smiles). Through my schooling days, my parents were always of the opinion that I could pursue whatever interested me the most. My mum always told me that whatever I choose to do in life I should do with conviction and passion. And since I was so passionate about dance I was fully encouraged to do it.
Where did you do the course?
I studied dance under my Guru, Dr. Sandhya Purecha and further went on to do my post-graduation also under her institution Bharata College of Fine Arts.
Describe your journey from the time you joined the course to the time you completed it?
I had class every day from 4 to 8 PM. I spent a lot of time with my Guru, not only learning dance but also the shastra behind the dance, mythology, etc. My Guru also took us for a lot of dance events so we could watch and learn. Besides, we went on study tours of temples, etc. My Guru supported me every step of the way. She was not only a teacher but also a friend, philosopher and guide. Dance class was my second home and it helped me to grow not only as a dancer but also as a person.
Have you established any institute? If yes, tell us about it.
Yes, I do have my own dance institute named Mantra Academy of Arts – MAA dedicated to my mother who is my biggest strength and support. I have been teaching dance for the past 11 years and continue to spread the art form to the younger generations.
What do you do other than classical dance?
I have learnt other dance forms but mostly to get a basic idea as to how their technique is different from Bharatanatyam. Besides that, I take a keen interest in my kids’ activities. I love to watch them grow.