Monday 18 May 2020

Obit/Tribute - Myrta Barvié (1933 -2020) - Silvia Rissi

Myrta Barvié (13 January1933 – 15 May 2020) was a pioneer in spreading the knowledge of the classical dances of India in Argentina and Latin America. As a dancer, writer, lecturer and teacher, she presented this art in its most classical, pure and traditional form, just as she learned it in India with her teachers.

Myrta was a classical ballet dancer, beginning her studies at the age of 8 with the Russian teacher Victoria Tomina who advised her to enter the dance school of the Colón Theater in Buenos Aires. At the age of 14 she joined the permanent dance company of the Colón Theater, where at the age of 17 she debuted as the first dancer in the role of Swanilda of the ballet Coppelia. Shortly thereafter, she made her first trip to India at the invitation of Rukmini Devi, director of the most important dance institute in South India, Kalakshetra. Thus Myrta began the most beautiful and profound relationship with India, its art, wisdom and spirituality.

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1 comment:

  1. From Naatyaachaarya V.P.Dhananjayan, Chennai.
    Myrta was our contemporary in Kalakshetra during 1954-55, probably the first foreign student admitted in Kalakshetra for short course-2 years. Rukminidevi composed a short Varnam in Poornachadrika Raagam specially for her and later it became a foreigner's item, and part time students were taught. Rukminidevi had special fascination for Ballet and its technique, so Myrta was given a chance to perform ballet in the main Kalakshetra art festival in December at the open air theatre in the Theosophical society campus.
    Being an excellent Ballet artiste Myrta was able to pickup our naatya quickly and precisely with perfection of "angasudham". She was given special classes under Jayalakshmi Teacher and of course A.Sarada teacher who instilled in her the Kalakshetra stamp of perfection and trained her to do Arangetram in 2 years to the satisfaction of Rukminidevi and other connoisseurs, making it a historical event in the annals of Kalakshetra history.-- that is, doing Arangetram in 2 years, that too a foreigner.
    When Myrtha visited Chennai 3 years ago along with one of her Bharatanaatyam students she made it a point to visit her old friends like us and tried to revise her old items with us. She was absolutely charming and adorable even at her ripped age which never showed in her disciplined exercised body.

    All her friends in Chennai pray for her soul to rest in peace.
    V.P>Dhananjayan. Chennai.