Power Moment: Yamini Krishnamurthy
An embodiment of the power and vivacity of Indian dance, this performer is one of the best classical dancers in the country. A Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi expert, Yamini Krishnamurthy gave her first live performance in 1957 and has been moving critics and dancers around the globe ever since. This year, she was lauded by the government of India, who presented her with the country’s second-highest civilian award.
On the national nod: ‘It’s a great feeling to know that people still love me. This honour is really a great tribute to my art, our Indian art. I am very thankful to the people who have recognised me.’
Life lessons: ‘Our dance is a mystical concept. It is a lifelong pursuit. Three things dance has given me: I don’t get bored, I don’t get lonely, I don’t get insecure.’
On critics: ‘It is an inescapable fact that art critics are losing the importance they enjoyed before. Previously, a dance critic’s review was one way for lay rasikas to appreciate a dancer, and the verdict of a critic carried weight in determining the popularity of the dancer. Nowadays, dance criticism is more of an afterthought in newspapers than anything else.’
Future of Indian dance: ‘I see a lot of talent in our new generation; they are very intelligent and want to do many things. I think many will emerge as very good dancers. Rama (Vaidyanathan) was one of them who really dedicated herself to it.’
Essential advice: ‘You must develop fierce dedication, with detachment.’
Read about our next power woman, Rajeshwari Sachdev.