Vandana Supriya Kasaravalli: The Psychology Graduate chooses to follow her passion and builds a career in Odissi and Kalaripayattu
“Passion for any art form paves a path cut differently from the rest. But when passion turns into a way of life, it most definitely brings in a new dimension”, says Vandana Supriya, the multi-facted personality. By vocation, Vandana is a Psychology graduate, while her passion lied in performing arts. She did both and chose Odissi has her career choice.
Vandana Supriya Kasaravalli delved deep into the realms of art and dance when she was just seven years of age. Pursuing her dance course in a non-conventional school, The Sita School, where learning was based not on books or theory, but more on practical hands-on experience in the midst of nature and arts, thereby making dance and song rendition the integral part of her early years.
As the saying goes, ‘What meant to be, will always find a way to be”, with a big dream, a young child finds her way into an institution, which would be her home for many years to come. A place where she could find herself as an artist, as a dancer and as a person. A series of events, which can be termed nothing other than destiny, led a young Vandana to board a bus which took her to the weekend classes held in the neighbourhood at Nrityagram, the dance Gurukul, based out of Bangalore. With time, Nrityagram transformed to be the second home and a place of worship, shaping young Vandana into the person she would be as an adult.
Being a part of the Stem Dance Kampani after her diploma did not only give her an opportunity to hone her skills as a performing artist but also to learn various other dance forms including Odissi, in addition to martial arts like Kalaripayattu. What is more, Vandana’s journey towards being a soloist in Odissi began at this stage of her life and she paved a way for herself only through a lot of hard work and perseverance. Vandana also began working with many NGOs and organisations to spread the art form of Odissi so that it would reach even the lives of those who are usually not priveleged enough to get professional training. From being a young child in love with
dance to a composed adult, who paved her way for herself, Vandana’s art form has been her stable foundation in life.
Even though, Vandana earned her undergraduate degree from Mount Carmel College in Psychology, she chose to follow her passion and build her future as a performing artist. After Nrityagram, Vandana was lucky enough to find a third home, when she joined the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography to pursue a Diploma in Choreography under the tutelage of Gurus Dr Maya Rao and Mdhu Nataraj. In fact, it was here that Vandana found the support and the much needed encouragement to follow her dreams without any second thought and make herself a notable person in the field of Odissi dance. Furthermore, Vandana is also trained in Kalaripayattu, the traditional martial art form of Kerala, at The Kalari Grama in Pondicherry (Puducherry).
Anandi School of Dance
What is knowledge if you haven’t shared it? Rightly so, in an apparent attempt to spread Odissi and extend its reach in the southern parts of India, Vandana Supriya Kasaravalli started a dance school, The Anandi School of Dance in 2013, a perfect learning platform for both children as well as adults. One of the initiatives of Anandi Arts Foundation is to make dance/arts accessible to the lesser privileged. The first step in that direction was with 120 enthusiastic girls from the Government
School in RMV second stage Bangalore who were given Odissi training for free.
Vandana Supriya Kasaravalli is married to Apurva Kasaravalli, son of Kannada film maker and theatre personality, Girish Kasaravalli (Tabarana Gathe and other wonderful movies he has made and the last Kannada movie he directed was Niruttara, starred by Rahul Bose) and Vaishali Kasaravalli, who has also acted in many Kannada films.
Apurva Kasaravalli, who is also a film maker and Vandana says that he is a great source of strength and always supported her endeavours.
Vandana Supriya Kasaravalli is a core team member of the collaborative dance production, Padme, choreographed y Kalpana Raguraman and produced by Anita Ratnam. Another initiative is the Contemporary Choreographies by Vandana Supriya Kasaravalli is based on various contemporary issues such as women empowerment, gender equality LGBT Rights and more. IGNITE is a musical programme directed by Vandana and produced by Hometown Productions. Other works include dance tutoring in government schools of Malaysia; cultural orientation and demonstration to the tribals of Kerala; dance tutoring for two years in Bale Mane, an NGO dedicated to the girls of remand homes; performance and demonstration for the Paraspara Trust; dance tutoring for special and physically challenged children in Association of People with Disability – a school for physically challenged children; cultural demonstration programme for the faculty of APD;
performance for upbringing of the heterosexual community; dance lessons as part of summer camps in ISKON for children, dance lessons to the under-privileged children of Benson Town in Bangalore; Sunday classes for village children in Nrithyagram in Bangalore; cultural show for the cause of women empoweremnt at Mount Carmel College in Bangalore; performance for the cause of child labour at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore; performance in the cultural programme for rural areas of Hesaraghatta; performance in Gnana Jyothi – a school for special children; performance for cancer patients in Bangalore; lecture demonstration for an orphanage in Jayanagar in Bangalore; lecture demonstration for Suchitra Film Institute and teaching at Adishakthi Theatre School in Pondicherry.