Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala is a rare combination of a successful Bharathanatyam performer, choreographer, teacher, festival curator and managing trustee of KalaPradarshini, trained under Kalaimamani Krishnakumari Narendran, Seetharama Sharma and PadmaBhushan awardee Kalanidhi Narayan.
Parvathi’s Dance Journey spans 40 years
Her dance journey spans almost her entire life. Her passion for excellence exudes in her commitment to arts and in her relentless effort to carry the dance legacy forward despite financial and social challenges. Her Nritta and Abhinaya are marked by regal grace, subtlety and endearing charm also making her one of the torch bearers of this dance tradition. Her profound understanding of the Natya Shastra and ardent devotion coupled with relentless practice of the intricate art form has earned her an exceptional name in the fraternity of performing arts.
Since 1978, after being a very successful solo performer, Parvathi felt, it was too selfish to focus only on herself and her accompanists. She realized through her own journey of thorns and roadblocks what it took to succeed. Pursuing Bharathanatyam is expensive and exclusive, but she was determined to find a way to make it sustainable for those interested. She decided to take the unlaid roads, to make Indian performing arts more inclusive, both socially and economically.
In 1990s, through her innovative conceptualization she stared curating group productions which required many dancers, musicians, and technicians to be supported. Owing to her distinguished excellence, her productions were widely sought after. Due to which she was able to provide more opportunities in India and abroad to several artists, artisans and support technicians to practice the arts and take it up as fulltime professions. This became a trendsetter and slowly started becoming socially acceptable and economically viable.
With the advent of technological advancements, she again became a pioneer of using technology, blending it with live traditional art performances, while still maintaining the artistic requirements needed by the fine art.
Her moto was to make sure that Indian arts reached the lowest classes of the society. Kala Pradarshini imparts holistic training and knowledge in Bharatanatyam and nattuvangam. The speciality about her institution is no child is discriminated due to lack of funds or any social stigma. Even those with learning difficulty, hearing impairment and other minority religions have enrolled and have reached successful levels. Parvathi has inherited the ability to effortlessly mould a child into an able professional performer. Many students have been a making a mark in national and international arenas winning appreciations and accolades. A special child won the prestigious Balashri Award from Government of India in 2016 and a prodigious disciple was conferred with Kalai Ilamani, Tamil Nadu state award as well. Parvathi guides her disciples to establish their own dance academies as a full time profession generating self employment.
Parvathi provides invaluable experiences and opportunities to her students. Parvathi has even adopted a government school in Chennai where she not only teaches bharathanatyam, but also makes the children perform on mainstream venues along with the prime time artists. The institution provides all necessary kits, from make up to costumes to jewellery to the artists who cannot afford. Her students are exposed to the stage and overcome stage fear, develop their personality and character and are groomed into fine personalities with high ethics and morale.