Powai 1

Interview with Suman Badami- A bharatnatyam dancer and Guru.

Suman Badami is a home maker to her 2 kids and her husband, she is a bharatnayam guru and a performing artist and  also a  founding member of PFA (Powai Fine Arts) promoting Indian fine arts.  She has been living in Powai, for more than 10 years. Here is a  short Interview I somehow managed.

Question 1) Can you Introduce yourself ?

First some history, the Mahratta empire in the 16th /17th century extended to Thanjavur in Tamilnadu so there’s a large community down south called Thanjavur Maharashtrians..me being one of them…..we speak a dialect called “tanjore marathi” and most customs/habits/food etc are south Indian!
I am a classical Bharatanatyam dancer (did my M.Com but decided to pursue my dancing career more seriously). I have had my training in Chennai and was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to perform at school, college level and also many dance fests in India and abroad. We live in Powai Hiranandani since 2000 (except for a brief 3 years out of India-2004-2007) . I have received a Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture for research in dance and have also completed my Ph.D in Aesthetics from Mumbai Univ in 2009. I was a member of the UN International dance council and I volunteer for an ngo called VIDYA. I have been running a dance school in Powai “Natya Vimarsha” . I am also a foot soldier and committee member at PFA.
I am a mom of 2 kids  and have theirs and hubby Harish ‘s support always.

2) Where do you conduct these classes, what is the age group eligibility to learn Bharatanatyam? what are the timings for the same? How many students have you taught until now?  and what is the typical batch size?

I conduct classes at Forest club-the room on the first floor-  as well as at Glen Classic -the hall next to the lobby.
I take kids above the age of 7. Forest club- 4 to 6.30 pm on tues and thurs, Glen classic- wed 5 to 7 pm.
I have about 30 students.
batch size varies –8 to 10 kids average.

3) Can you elaborate on your role in Powai Fine Arts, and let us know what all events/performances can we expect in 2011?

Powai has just about everything but I always felt we shld hv an organisation that would cater to the cultural needs as well.There are of course many many performances held all over Mumbai, but nothing close to Powai and going to NCPA , Shanmukhananda etc was not easy at all. Way back in 2003 a few of us here tried to get this started but somehow could’nt sustain it.
When I heard about Dr Ramakrishnan and his ideas of promoting a cultural organisation me and two other artists in Hiranandani- Bala Swaminathan and Sailaja Desai immediately volunteered to pitch in. The commitee is totally “committed”…. professionals with demanding careers but do make the time to put forth ideas and think of ways of executing it. There has been a good response to the programs and many have enrolled as life members. To bring top grade artists we hope to have the support of the Hiranandanis as well as the corporate houses and individuals residing in Powai.
I along with the others in the committee – Dr Rama, Mr V Ramakrishnan (Dr Padma’s husband), Ranjini Krishnaswamy( the principal of Gregorias school), Mr Saxena , Mr Swaminathan, Mrs Bala, Mrs Sailaja –work on the planning, the logistics and the program content. Dr Ramakrishnan and Ramesh did most of the initial work in the registration. Mrs Kumuda does the editorial work, newsletters and Sukanya does the web design and updates.It is wonderful being a part of this diverse and dynamic group of people who have volunteered their time and effort to get this going.
Very interesting line up fr the next few months–We are having a classical dance ballet in Sept, an Odissi recital in November,a hindustani flute recital and a carnatic vocal, all by professional and experienced artists.
Another unique feature about Powai is that there are a number of professional artists residing here… most of the different classical dances and music genres are all being taught here by artists who live here! For our oct prog we are tentatively thinking of having a special prog for ‘dasshera’ that would have many of these artists of Powai  together on stage performing.
Initially IIT and then IBS and S M Shetty school have been a huge support by having the PFA progs in their audis.

4) what do you think is lacking or missing as a resident of Hiranandani powai?

As a resident of Hiranandani since 2000 I have seen a big change from a quiet colony to a totally self sufficient vibrant place..nothing much to complain..it is definitely one of the better places to live in MUmbai. The hospital is a huge plus and literally been a life saver ..Whats missing is an auditorium/community hall…and the usual traffic woes…would be nice if we could go more ‘green’..with the garbage disposal and excessive use of plastic bags in Haiko n DMart

5) Finally what do you think of POWAI INFO, can you give us some suggestions so we can serve the community better?

Finally :))– Powai Info is just great.. Good community outreach esp to the youngsters….Just about any information- from a haircut to admissions abroad–all answered here!! encourages discussions on relevant topics with regular updates on the happenings in the local community…Covers the whole range from social causes to restaurant reviews all moderated in a friendly/non-controversial way. Congrats!!


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