Bengaluru-based Bharatanatyam dancer, Milan BV was in the city of Hyderabad to perform on the third Saturday of July. In the 45-minute allotted to her, Milan performing along with her daughter Sharada won the hearts of the rasikas during the performance at Shilparamam Madhapur and many interacted with her after the presentation. Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, Milan shares that she was enamoured by the stage of Shilparamam and performing here was a dream come true. Milan says that after a student of Guru Revathi Narasimhan performed here in March this year, she approached her to find out the details. “I wrote to the authorities at Shilparamam Arts, Crafts and Cultural Society requesting that I be given a chance to perform here. And by the blessings of my gurus and family, my wish was fulfilled,” she says and quickly adds: “I will come back soon now with my senior students to perform here and add a feather in our cap.”
After her performance at Shilparamam, Milan made best use of the Sunday by visiting the city’s two iconic tourist spots. “I visited the historic Golconda Fort, Charminar and the vibrant market surrounding it. I was bowled by the bangles,” she says.
When questioned about her typical name – Milan, the Bharatanatyam artist says: “I was given this name by my maternal grandmother. Those days my grandmother used to stay in Mumbai and there was a hit movie by that name and she christened me Milan.” She also says: “My grandmother had named every one in the family after movies, like my sister was called Sawan and my mother – Sheetal.”
Born to Sheetal and B. S. Venkatesh, Milan was initiated into dance by her mother at the age of 10 years. “I began learning dance under the tutelage of Guru Smt. Suma Rajesh and completed my Junior Exams conducted by Karnataka Secondary Education Board. Further pursued under Smt. Pushpalatha Manjunath to complete my Senior Grade Exams. Currently, I am training under Karnataka Kalashri Guru Smt. Revathi Narasimhan and completed Vidwath Antima under her guidance,” she says. Milan admits that Guru Suma made her basics perfect and strong and Guru Revathi is adding more strength to it. “I owe whatever I am today to my Gurus, who taught the art with lot of love and patience to perfection,” she says.
After completing her BA degree in Bharatanatyam with distinction from Keshava College of Dance and Music affiliated to Bangalore University, Milan even as a teenager began teaching her juniors and in 2014, she set up her own dance school, Sharada Naatya Kuteera, and is teaching young enthusiasts theory and the art form more vigorously. Excitedly Milan states: “Aditi R, a student of mine will be performing her arangetram in Bengaluru on 19 November 2023.” Also, she mentions that her daughter Sharada is learning dance from her. Why name your daughter after a goddess, Milan says: “I conceived after visiting Maa Sharada Devi at Sringeri, and she has been named Sharada as a blessing.”
With many performances under her belt, mainly being World Famous Mysore Dasara Festival, 42nd Chidambaram Natyanjali, reality show on Suvarna Channel and many ballets like the Mahabharata, Farmers’ Life, Krishna Leela, and a Fashion Show with Indian attire. Without revealing much, she says that very soon she will be coming out with her own production based on Bhakti Margam. “I am awaiting the Artist Gradation result of Karnataka Doordarshan. Also, learning rhythm aspects under Vidwan D. V. Prasanna Kumar,” she says.
Honoured with the ‘Naari Shakti’ award by Chiguru Cultural Trust, Bangalore, Milan has compiled a book titled – Introduction to Bharatanatyam, and the foreword has been written by her Guru Revathi Narasimhan. Before bidding bye, Milan says: “My passion is my profession and I thoroughly enjoy it as it gives me immense satisfaction.”