To mark International Dance Day 2015, we are re-publishing this 2014 interview with DP student Bhavishya Ramchander from the United World College South East Asia in Singapore.
Bhavishya Ramchander travelled to India in February to launch her dance career at the Music Academy in Madras. A DP student at the United World College South East Asia in Singapore, Bhavishya performed her debut of the classical Indian dance Bharatanatyam in the presence of PadmabhushanShri VP Dhananjayan, a leading name in the world of this style of dance. Bhavishya’s Arangetram, the term given to an on-stage debut of Bharatanatyam, also raised funds for the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) to support the treatment and recovery of child cancer patients. Bhavishya tells us about this exciting experience.
What inspired you to prepare for the Arangetram?
For a dancer, an Arangetram is the culmination of years of learning and intense practice, and is considered a mental and physical test of the dancer’s abilities. I was inspired by my Guru (Smt. Bharathi Murthy) and without her; this would not have been possible. The elegance that she radiates while dancing is an irrepressible force of precision and dynamism and I aspire to be her!
My Arangetram will be engraved in my memory as the experience of a lifetime, the most important milestone in my dance career.
What did you hope to accomplish through this performance?
It represents a year of concerted activity on my part and I developed the discipline to achieve a long-term goal. I also aimed to create awareness and raise funds for a charity that is very close to my heart—Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA). I have been working with CPAA for three years and this was a great opportunity to get more people involved in the cause.
What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
I found it challenging to balance my school workload and dance rehearsals in the beginning. But after a while I found it easier to finish my work and remain on top of things because I had no time to procrastinate. My performance was two hours long and preparing for it was both mentally and physically exhausting. Mastering the sequence of any dance is the first step,be it a purely rhythmic one or a dance that emphasizes human emotions. Understanding the literal and contextual meaning of each song is also very important.
Overcoming physical and mental challenges was the hard part, but the experience brings a clear understanding of what it takes to be a dancer.
How have the funds helped CPPA?
CPAA has enabled treatment for cancer patients living in poverty in India who would otherwise be unable to afford the chemotherapy treatment. These patients suffer from recurrent and potentially fatal malignancies and treatment is essential for their chance of recovery. My dance performance has enabled the treatment and medication for the five children that the CPAA Global Concerns (UWC South East Asia’s service programme) has adopted for the academic
How will you continue your collaboration with CPAA?
I have been the chair of CPAA Global Concerns in UWC South East Asia for two years but this was my first individual contribution. I hope to keep raising funds for this cause through future dance performances. The cause is very close to my heart and CPAA is doing a great job with its patients. Now that I have started, I can’t stop because I am so attached. “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
Watch a video of Bhavishya’s performance