PHOcus – Photo Feature on upcoming artists – Mridula Rao

“As long as I can remember I have always believed that the essence of all art is to derive pleasure in giving pleasure,” says Mridula Rao, a young, talented, versatile dancer of Bangalore, who started learning dance at the age of six.

With her father’s job in the Indian Air Force taking the family to various places, in the initial years her learning of dance was not a smooth affair. However her talent blossomed in Bangalore, under the tutelage of Guru Smt. Nirupama Rajendra, from whom she has been learning Bharatanatyam for the past eleven years. Her love for dancing led her to pick up the nuances of Kathak from the well-known Kathak duo, T D Rajendra and Nirupama Rajendra. Mridula who performs both styles distinctively is very passionate about her dance which is evident in her performances.

She performed her Rangapravesham in the year 2001 getting rave reviews from the press and dance lovers.

In 1999, Mridula won the gold medal for the state-level competition organized by the Gopinathdas Trust, Bangalore.

She is the recipient of the gold medal in the state-level Junior Kathak dance competition held in 1998. She also has won the state-level dance competition for the senior category organised by Natyantharanga in 2004.

As a part of the Abhinava Arts Centre, she has travelled extensively along with her gurus all over India and abroad. She had the opportunity to perform in Switzerland during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of India’s Independence in 1997. She has performed in some African countries and Reunion Islands under Diplomat Status, the tour being organized by the ICCR.

The Indian Dance Association of Mount Carmel College recognised her dedication and efforts and she led the college, as the co-ordinator, to many state-level competitions bringing appreciation and prizes to the college.

She has given performances for the Doordarshan, Bangalore and also for the Singapore Television. Mridula has also performed in many prestigious dance festivals in India. Her performances have won her rave reviews from both dance critics and connoisseurs of dance.

Mridula has been one of the youngsters privileged to attend the dance workshops conducted by Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan, Chennai and Smt. Savitri Rao, Kalakshetra. Recently Mridula went to the United Kingdom for a research and development project. She worked extensively with British dancers there and also conducted workshops for many aspiring students. She has been invited again to the United Kingdom, where she will conduct a series of workshops, lecture-demonstrations and educational projects.

Abounding in talent and char, Mridula is full of zeal and passion, both in performing as well as learning more. Ambitious she is, yet is perhaps a trifle inhibited about establishing herself as a solo performer.

Mridula Rao: 491, Sector-D, Jalvayu Vihar, Kamanahalli, Bangalore – 43. Ph: 25445803

Drishti wishes the hard-working, talented Mridula good luck in all her endeavours.