The danseuse has conceived and choreographed many new innovative productions such as ‘Konjum Salangai’, a dance tribute to Kannadasan, ‘Aadal Kaneero’ a dance tribute to M L Vasanthakumari and ‘Murali Nrithya Maadhuri’, a dance feature based on the compositions of M Balamurali Krishna.
She has made a documentary film on her Gurus the Dhananjayans titled ‘Kala Sadhna’ for Dhananjayan’s 70th birthday celebrations.
Radhika debuted in movies with Suhasini Maniratnam’s Indira and has since worked for more than 12 movies including Azhagi, Thendral, Swarnamukhi, Ivan and Solla Marantha Kadhai.
She speaks to News Today about
How it all started
My mother Malathy Natarajan wanted to learn dance, but she never got the opportunity. So she fulfilled her dream through us (Me and my sisters Gayathri Krishnamurthy and Shobana Bhalchandra).
Though we trained under the Dhanajayans we never thought we would become professional dancers. I used to train earnestly under my gurus. They trusted me to conduct classes for their disciples, when I was still learning from them.
How Thaka Dhimi Tha happened
I conceived the dance show to bridge the gap between classical art and common people. Till then there was no exclusive programme for classical dance on TV and it became an instant hit.
The show which has completed 450 episodes provides a platform for up-and-coming bharatanatyam artistes from across the country, and sometimes abroad. It also features senior exponents of the art form as judges.
It won the prestigious national ‘RAPA’ Award for the Best Dance Show on television. I have also done dance shows on social subjects like preserving the environment titled ‘Neela Kamalam’ and ‘Innum Sila Nodigal’, and a dance feature titled ‘Tamizh Amudham’ for the 50th anniversary celebrations of DD Podhigai.
My gurus the Dhananjayans, former Tamil actress Vyjayanthimala Bali, Jayalalithaa, Kumari Kamala.
I love to watch films. In spite of my heavy schedule which has me shuttling between classes and recordings, I manage to watch a whole lot of films.I especially like the black-and-white movies in Hindi and Tamil.
Thillana Mohanambal is my all-time favorite not just for the dance but also for the histrionics. My other favourites are Salangai Oli and Nayagan. I am a big fan of Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan.
He is the master in theatrics and histrionics. I must confess that I’ve improved my abhinaya by observing him. I also read a lot. I love Tamil. Dance and Tamil together would be like a double treat for me.
What dance means to me
The art has given me a lot. It has made me a better human being. I want to contribute to dance in whatever way I can till my last breath.
I have got exposure to various forms of dance in all the years that I have been in this field. I want to explore the avenues of Bharathanatyam and make a film on classical dance.