‘Dance will be a step for the rest of life’

In mana Hyderabad, in the dancing field – there are many mother-daughter jodis. One such jodi is Suri Srivalli and Suri Sri Ranjani. Speaking to Natyahasini, Suri Sri Ranjani says that her mother Suri Srivalli played a major role in her becoming a dancer. “Initially, I was only watching my mother’s dance performances and admiring her. But later I decided to follow her footsteps. When I informed her the same, she agreed for it only after she was 100 percent convinced that I would pursue it seriously,” says Sri Ranjani. The young dancer admits that her mother then enrolled her under Kuchipudi dancer Dr. Hima Bindu Kanoj with whom she is still continuing and learning each and every day something new about dance. 

Sri Ranjani says that initially she found it difficult to get into the mode of practice, but once she knew the joy in it, she never looked back and began to love it. “Both my mom and my guru taught me how to balance my life between education and dance. I can never forget the way I would juggle between college and programmes where sometimes I used to study in the train at night and reach college in the morning and write the exam. My mom was and still is my greatest support,” admits the PG student. She also shares that her mother learnt Kuchipudi after moving to Hyderabad after marriage. “My mom initially learnt Bharatanatyam in Chennai. Although married life and responsibilities were many, yet my mother never let her passion for dance go down and balanced home, work and dance equally,” she says.

Lovely Opportunity: The Muvva Nritya Raaga Nigamam instructor feels privileged of having a lovely opportunity to dance with both Mom and Guru. “I started performing alongside with them at the age of 14 years. It’s such a great honour to be part of them. At times I got scared that I might go wrong and not so matured enough to dance along with them. But they encouraged me a lot and made me believe that I can dance along with them. This made me more positive. Each time I danced along with them, I learnt something new. They both are strict during practice and performance, but other times, they both are full of fun and we all have a great time together,” says the youngster.

Sri Ranjani acknowledges that as an instructor she has discovered her mistakes. “Teaching helps me improve my own knowledge and technique about dance as it is a huge responsibility to teach it in the right way. This helped me to improve myself and present me in a respectable way to the students. While performance improved my technique, teaching helped me gain knowledge and gave a good boost to my confidence,” the dancer says. The instructor says that she was inspired looking at Odissi and Kathak. “Odissi always has those graceful movements while Kathak has so many foot movements and I love them both a lot, but I also know that it takes a lifetime to learn one art form and decided to stick to Kuchipudi, my first love and give all my efforts to the same. But yes, as a classical dancer, I enjoy every dance which is done perfectly and gracefully,” she says.

Art, A Benefit: The dance instructor says: “Art is not just pursuing an Asian India culture. It’s also a medium to become fit and improve concentration by focusing multiple things. I would urge every young child to take up some sort of art form (music, sports and many more). This provides the youngster to practice discipline, commitment and how to succeed by multitasking,” she suggests. 

The dancer, who was passionate to become a doctor, couldn’t follow that path, but is studying Hospital Management course from ASCI in Hyderabad, to take up a job in a hospital. “I was unable to get into medicine and hence pursued graduation in Biotechnology and now studying Hospital Management which will help me to be close to patients and understand their suffering and find ways to give relief. This is not an easy job at all as it requires to deal with the patients sensing their moods and pain and requires lot of dedication and patience,” she says. Sri Ranjani says that she was able to help around during the second Covid wave. “I have volunteered with many groups during the second Covid wave in the supply of oxygen tanks, hospital beds and medicines, which gave me a lot of satisfaction as a medical student as we could save many lives too in the nick of time,” she says and quickly adds that she is really happy that she is in two fields – dance & medical, which requires dedication, discipline and hard work. “With the help of these two, I am also able to discipline my life in a better way, each day,” Sri Ranjani says. 

Sharing her future plans, Sri Ranjani says that Dance will be a step for the rest of the life. “I would like to pursue good fortune in Healthcare and HR industry, by being part of a corporate hospital and serve the society,” she states. In the same breath, she says that when she looks back, she can only say that nobody can design their future, but only Time guides us.  

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