Dancer"s Musical Sojourn
Somashukla Sinha Walunjkar

Kuchipudi dance exponent Swapnasundari has always been among the most versatile faces of Indian dance. She belongs to one of those rare school of dancers who are equally proficient in Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Vilasini Natyam. As a classical dancer, she is recognised as one who has always sung during her live performances. She received musical training from her grandmother C. Sundaramma and her mother Sarla Rao, (a playback singer and music composer) ensured that Swapnasundari was well versed in music too.

Swapnasundari who has been composing music for her own dance performances now composes music for a thematic presentation of early 19th century to present day poetry, put together in a CD album, Janmabhoomi Meri Pyari (under the HMV-Sa Re Ga Ma label) which hit the music stores earlier this week.

Swapnasundari is hoping to "diversify" as a "singer I had prepared Janmabhoomi. for August 15 with 12 tracks in Kashmiri, Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Marathi, Konkani, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Punjabi. The album"s themes are about love for nature, society and the motherland. The album version could, however, incorporate only nine tracks. I am a little nervous because this is an important album for me. I have to find out whether people appreciate me as a singer just the way they have loved me all these years as a dancer."

Swapnasundari believes Janmabhoomi... has the right mix of "poems tuned to music. Two of the tracks are particularly beautiful -Walo Haa Baagwano (by Kashmiri poet Ghulan Ahmed Mahjoor) about the ethos and culture of Kashmir, and O Amar Desher Mati (by Rabindranath Tagore) - and are timeless," says Swapnasundari. "It also has pieces by Subramania Bharti, Marathi poet Keshav Sut, Telugu poet Vajra Shankham, Urdu poet Sabah Afghani, the poems capture the essence of India," she adds.

Swapnasundari believes that musically she couldn"t have composed an album at a "better time. The music industry is bursting with activity. I think "recession" applies to mediocre artists who compromise on the quality. I spend time putting together an album and I look forward to doing value-based entertainment. For example, I spent a month just researching before I did the album. I am already working on my next album. For me, music and dance are all-consuming passions and I am not going to allow anything to compromise my work."

Source: HT City

by Dancer