She is a petulant woman miffed at a child’s pranks. She is the child, a minx, mischief and innocence bundled in gestures that are calibrated to endear. She is the mother, grace personified, who, while knowing what her child can do, chooses to chide the older woman for complaining about what is essentially a child’s harmless play. These three personalities are distinct and it comes as a stunning revelation for they are all emoted by the same person who artlessly segues from one character to another. The dexterity with which she wields her expressiveness is matched only by the way she wields her body as the instrument of her art. Both nritta and abhinaya are woven together in such a seamless manner that be it the harried milkmaid who complains about Krishna, little Krishna, or the unperturbed Yashoda, you always see only the character, never Pavithra Reddy.
Such mastery over the art is only possible with decades made of days, which are made of hours of practice and rigor, and Pavithra Reddy knows first-hand what it means to devote oneself to the art, specifically, what it means to devote oneself to the art in the way it is done at Nrityagram.
A resident of Hessaraghatta, Pavithra Reddy came to Nrityagram in 1990, when she was all of 12-years-old. She was trained by Protima Gauri and Surupa Sen as part of Nrityagram’s rural outreach program. Her commitment and consistently stellar performance led her to be one of the youngest members of Nrityagram’s dance ensemble. She celebrated her sixteenth birthday while touring the United States with the ensemble.
Since then, Pavithra Reddy has gone from strength to strength in her journey dedicated to dance. She has worked with dancers and movement specialists from across the globe. She has performed solo and as part of the Ensemble at some of the most prestigious venues across the world.
Over the years, Pavithra has assumed another role, that of a teacher at Nrityagram. “I am going to hang you upside down on that tree,” she declares, and all the little ones giggle, and you will then find the teacher too laughing with her students. Pavi didi, as she is known to all her little ones, charms the students into doing what she wants them to, which is to love dance and pursue excellence in the art form.
Pavithra is Director of our Arts in Education activities and has devised various programmes to engage and enthuse our next generation of dancers.