Friday, 28 May 2021

Obit/Tribute - B Bhanumati: Her art reflected her beauty - Jyothi Raghuram

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, beautiful old people are works of art"; in no aspect of her art or personality was Guru B. Bhanumati old. Sparkling with childlike enthusiasm, reflected enchantingly in her eyes, lively and spirited, she pioneered many firsts in classical dance. From the Eighties onwards, she quietly and unknowingly created a revolution in the dance field, bringing down the artificial walls around dancers and dance institutions.

Perhaps even the dance world has not comprehended this, so unobtrusive was her world, so low profile was she. Her Bharatanatyam dance school, Nrityakalamandiram, was not out of the ordinary at the surface level. Students milled her class as much for her warmth as for her ability to bring out the best in them. At Nrityakalamandiram, there was no pause, leave alone a full stop. Each ward of Bhanumati took back something precious with them. Even if dance is not for all, either to perform or teach, she groomed every student to be a dancer worthy of her dance school - a reputation that withstood the tectonic shifts in digital technology, taste, and the re-configurations of the very purpose of dance.

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