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Rama Vaidyanathan: Dancing for Women's Rights

Agosto 2008
La danza classica indiana ha origini antichissime. Una tradizione portata avanti con passione da Rama Vaidyanathan, che ballando ha trovato anche il modo di promuovere nei villaggi i diritti delle donne.

di Mark Worden

File audio:

Rama Vaidyanathan
Rama Vaidyanathan

Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent):

Rama Vaidyanathan is one of India’s leading classical dancers. She performs the ancient art of Bharata Natyam, but in a modern context. Indeed she often uses her performances to promote such issues as AIDS awareness and women’s rights. She recently came to Milan for a special “Monsoon event” concert and she met with Speak Up while taking a break from rehearsals:

Rama Vaidyanathan (Indian accent):

We have a woman president and we’ve had a woman prime minister, but we’ve also had female infanticides and we also have bride burnings and, you know, things like that. So I feel about this very strongly because I feel I can use this dance form to communicate. So I have gone to villages and because that is where this kind of education is needed, definitely not in the cities. So I have gone to villages and I’ve used their local language to dance and to communicate.


For example, you know, we have these three very prominent goddesses in India. We have... we have Lakshmi and she’s supposed to be the goddess of wealth and everybody prays to her for prosperity and wealth. And then, through my dance, I communicate that “You have to feel you are Lakshmi, you have to find the Lakshmi within you because the same Lakshmi, when she comes into your womb, you want to remove her, but she is supposed to be the goddess of wealth and prosperity.” Similarly, Saraswati is the goddess of learning and education. The same Saraswati, when she’s born to you, you do not want to spend on her education. So you are the Saraswati, find the Saraswati within you.“
Durka is that very empowered goddess; she’s supposed to be the symbolism of the victory of good over evil because she’s supposed to kill all the demons: “So you are Durka, find the Durka within you.”
So I have tried to use this concept to tell the women that “nobody’s going to give you your rights, nobody’s going to say, ‘OK, now you go to school, and now you can...’ You have to find that... your Lakshmi, your Saraswati, your Durka within you.”

For more about the artist and her work, visit: www.ramavaidyanathan.com

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awareness - consapevolezza.

rehearsals - prove.

bride burnings - spose bruciate sulla pira.

goddesses - dee.

wealth - ricchezza.

womb - ventre.

learning and education - cultura ed istruzione.

empowered - potente.