I like the idea of seeing myself animated and caricatured.
I'm too busy with work to give time to somebody.
Western classical music and classical dance gel beautifully.
Bharatnatyam is defined in many ways and everyone has an opinion. But I see it as a consummate art - a kind of fifth Veda.
Even when I was busy with acting, dance has always been there. You can't separate the two.
It's not fair to tell an artiste what to be creative about.
I quit acting because i wasn't enjoying it anymore.
As a story teller I have always been fascinated with our legends, these can be re-told time and time again. And there is always an interested eye and ear for it.
Earlier, I would not train children under the age of six because they were so difficult to deal with, but now I have brought the age limit down to three. Now I look at them and think they are cute little things.
I am basically a story-teller.
There are some facets of Krishna, like his image as a butter thief, a lover and a make-up-loving deity, that people connect with. But there's a lot about him that is unexplored.
For 20 years, I've been running an institute in Chennai where serious dancers from Kerala come with aspirations of becoming professional dancers.
Personally, I don't think I have the time for a big noisy family, so maybe just one child.
Wearing heavy jewelry and make-up is a part and parcel of Indian films.
Art is like wine. It gets better with age.
I never really thought it was so important to work in Hindi movies.
Truly accomplished artists are humble and unaware of their abilities.
Classical dance is a growing and ever-evolving art.
You can't apply the term 'lucrative' to dancing, but it does earn me a decent living.
I am a teacher and a mom.
English is an Indian language. It reaches a wider audience across the country.
I should not become redundant or jaded.
I have been very busy in the South and have had the opportunity to work on great films with the best directors.
My life keeps changing artistically. What to do? One moment I want to write a film, the second I want to write a musical.
I am glad I was in a position to select films that interested me.
I have generally loved performing in Pune and in Maharashtra. I find the audience here fun-loving, erudite and honest.
Artistes are all motivated differently, with different experiences.
'Mirch Masala' with Konkona Sen Sharma was very good.
Beauty works when one is in her teens. Between the ages 55 and 60, it's the technique and the personality of the dancer that captivates the audience.
I've seen my audience grow over the years, which is good.
I am dedicated to dancing, and I want to help spread this art form.
I am who I am because of my experiences, my learnings in this creative world, my travels and meeting new people.
Art has the power to bring people together - in communion.
In Tamil or Malayalam, there was a time when light films ruled. Then, a spate of drama or women-oriented stunt films followed.
To me, it's not about the lure of camera. It has always been a question of whether I can learn something new from a film role or not.
The beautiful thing about 'Bhav' is that it reaches out to a far more number than just the typical set of people who say they like classical music and dance.
I love Western classical music - I grew up on that thanks to my parents who loved it too.
I write scripts, I read scripts, I meet people who chat about their scripts. So honestly, I don't feel bad if I don't act in a film, as long as people are making great films.
I'm a person who needs to keep working in a creative chakra all the time. That's what provides me with energy.
My life, colored by various art forms, has been exposed to diverse music.
I always refer to Bharatanatyam as the 'now prevalent form of Bharatanatyam' in my interviews. The style changes from generation to generation.
In 'Dancing Drums' I interweave all my mediums into what I like to call, simply as 'trance.'
Why should I do a movie for dance? I can always do it on stage, and I'm doing it. However, if such a film with a good story comes my way, then I might probably do it.
I like the freedom of a choreographic production.
More importantly, I'm an actor whose passion is dance.
I act in films depending on the offers.
I have worked with the tavil and the mridangam all my artistic life. My style does have a strong grounding in rhythm.
Personally I love film culture.
What one should possess is the ability to carry off a role with panache. Once you do that, you're in.
In my eyes, either you appreciate art or you don't.
Students of Bharatanatyam or any other dance form, for that matter, are artistes first.
You cannot start dancing at the grand old age of 30.
In 'Dancing Drums,' I've touched on music that largely brings the ethos of religions other than my own together.
I think we all have this special equation with our art where we don't feel the need for anything else; it almost gives you everything. It gives you physical strength, it gives you mental peace.
I do get film offers, but if they are dance teacher kind of roles, I don't take them up.
It takes a lifetime to master one dance form.
For me, Rajinikanth is, first and foremost, a colleague. I don't want to think of our relation in terms of like, say, from 'Thalapathi' to 'Kochadaiyaan.'
Dance and acting are different. One is about being as close to reality and convincing the camera of the emotion that you portray, the other is communicating subjects and legends of a different time.
When times are changing, I change with the times.
For Krishna to be such an international icon, so to speak, means there are various perspectives on him. Saints, philosophers and historians have their own take on him. While reading about their perspectives, a story took form in my mind and that's how 'Krishna' happened.
I unwind by watching TV, which is also how I wind.
As a storyteller, I realize that because of the inherent abstraction in rhythm, the possible interpretations are plenty. But that only makes the work more challenging.
I wish to excite people with music and dance.
Although I've acted in several films, dancing has always been my passion.
Whenever I can snatch two-three days, I get into the car or a train and head straight for a temple site, mostly Brihadishvara Temple.
There are no hard and fast rules. Your sensibilities change as you grow older.
A lot of my favorite actors do commercial cinema.
As a story teller I have used characters, epic tales, poetry and rasa in my performances.
I give my students the option of not doing an arangetram or having it in a temple. But some parents still want to organize events that resemble mini weddings.
My mother would apply castor oil to my lashes every night. That was kind of torturous, because I would wake up with my eyes stuck close. She knew I would thank her years later for my long, curled lashes!
Personally, I don't believe in International Women's Day. After all, there's no International Men's Day that we celebrate. These are just titles like Happy Day, Teacher's Day etc. I don't understand them.
What Bharat Natyam has taught me is to appreciate the smaller things in life.
There are only a few stories of Krishna that are popular. His exploits with the gopikas, for example. But not many understand the spiritual implications of such events.
I'm happy to be associated with the Times Thyagaraja Awards, which takes Carnatic music to the young generation.
When I want to make a creative work, I still have producers of marketing houses dictating to me how I should make a creative video and what sells! If I face that problem, I can imagine how difficult it must be for the rising generation of artistes to find sponsorships.
I have not labelled 'Krishna' as a classical presentation. Nor do I bring in non-classical elements into the traditional repertoire.
I don't miss the world of movies.
If I find myself spacing out while I act, it's just not for me.
I prefer to do roles that suit my mental maturity.
By the way, all the major awards that I have won are for so-called commercial movies.
I'm waiting for better scripts to come my way, especially because I'm aware that there are people who are waiting to see me come back; and I don't want to disappoint them.
No matter how many years you have been dancing, I feel a guru is always needed for motivation and inspiration.
There was a point of time when there wasn't anything new coming to me, but the same old scripts. But, the script of 'Thira' motivated me.
The dance form has been a lifestyle that I was initiated to at an early age. It has been the only constant in my life, like a friend bringing happiness and pain. I cannot imagine living without it.
I have trained for 30 years in Indian classical dance and there is nothing more beautiful in my eyes than stepping out of the box.
As you grow older, there are lesser and lesser roles for you in the movies, while in dance the field opens up as you mature.
I realized that I didn't know much about Krishna. I wondered how he became an icon. So I met archaeologists and read up more on him.
I have been dancing from the age of three.
Western influences have turned the world into a small global village, particularly through television and other mediums.
Beauty for me is the attitude behind something. But my ideals of beauty are rather different.
The good thing about Indian dance is that it relies a lot on communication. There is nothing that can't be communicated by Bharatanatyam.
In 'Krishna,' the movements mostly stem from traditional dances of diverse cultures but there is some use of multimedia that completes the production and nudges the audience into the right ethos.
Right from school we are taught to compete and survive.
I feel drained out after working on my shows, but working on 'Krishna' was fun.
Look at Sridevi, she dances well in all her films.
We are told to do good math, lead the country, or go abroad and make million. You can't blame anyone. That's the way our children are trained. But what about other things like respecting women and liking your own culture first?
It is always good to see a full house.
I know I should be taking breaks in my performances , but there is something about the Maharashtrian audience that makes me want to go on and on.
A teacher has to understand the ability and capability of his or her student, their sentiments and varying levels of sensitivity to be able to bring out the best.
Problems arise only when an artist chooses to be above the art. Not otherwise.