‘I am not just a transgender Bharatanatyam artiste,’ says Narthaki Nataraj

Home entertainment ‘I am not just a transgender Bharatanatyam artiste,’ says Narthaki Nataraj
‘I am not just a transgender Bharatanatyam artiste,’ says Narthaki Nataraj
‘I am not just a transgender Bharatanatyam artiste,’ says Narthaki Nataraj

As Satisfaction Month attracts to an in depth, Narthaki Nataraj talks about how dance heals her scars, which is why she believes artwork can empower the transgender group.

As Satisfaction Month attracts to an in depth, Narthaki Nataraj talks about how dance heals her scars, which is why she believes artwork can empower the transgender group.

It was 2011. Sporting a brilliant orange kurti and black leggings, Narthaki Nataraj walked right into a Chennai cafe for an interview. thozi (Good friend) Shakti. She hesitantly ordered a chilly espresso, unsure if she would really like it. In the course of the dialog, one may sense her vulnerability and nervousness when she spoke concerning the trauma of being gendered, dealing with hatred, rejection and mock.

Reduce to June 20, 2022. Once I entered Ezhilagam in Chepauk in Chennai, Narthaki Nataraj’s secretary ushered me into her workplace on the fifth flooring. Sporting a crisp crimson cotton saree, there’s an air of confidence in her as she discusses the small print of the assembly together with her employees. She asks her secretary to have some tea. As certainly one of eight members of the Authorities’s Improvement Coverage Board, she now helps formulate social and cultural insurance policies. It’s the first time that an artist has been appointed to the advisory board.

From being pressured to depart residence on the age of twelve to fulfilling her dream of coaching in Bharatanatam below guru Ketaba Pillai (who referred to as her “Narthaki Nataraj”) and rising to turn into a distinguished actress of Thanjavur bani to an influential place in authorities, Narthaki Nataraj’s journey appears surreal.

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“When I look back, I see myself walking through a very dark tunnel with no light in sight. The bitterness of the past has taught me to gather my crumbling soul to find myself away from my non-dual identity,” explains Narthaki, explaining why she believes dance is a beneficial area to discover sexuality. . “When I first came up on stage to perform and heard applause echoing across the hall, I felt like I was reborn. I stopped seeing my body as a prison. I found help in art, in being able to freely express masculine and feminine feelings in compositions.”

The dancer helps the younger members of her group, serving to them acquire dignity and acceptance by discovering goal in life. “Every of us is born with a talent, I simply inform them to look inside. Feeling helpless or weak will solely exacerbate our state of affairs additional. Though it’s encouraging to see the rising consciousness about gender points and other people popping out publicly about their sexual orientation, we’re We have to amplify trans voices to form a greater future for transgender youth. We have to converse for ourselves slightly than converse for us. As a reputation identified at this time, I’m cautious about selecting and supporting LGBTQ causes as a result of, at occasions, they’re extra about object and symbols than actually reaching out to the group, as you say.

Narthaki Nataraj performing at the Academy of Music in Chennai

Narthaki Nataraj performing on the Academy of Music in Chennai | Picture supply: RAVINDRAN R

In 2019, Narthaki was awarded the Padma Shri – the primary transgender girl to be awarded with . Subsequent January, she will probably be receiving the 2021 Nritya Kalanidhi Award on the Academy of Music, Chennai. In 2011, she acquired Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar. She can be the recipient of the Krishna Gana Sabha Nritya Choodamani Award and the Kalaimamani Award.

To coach younger minds concerning the transgender group, the State Meeting Chapter 11 syllabus accommodates a chapter on it. The dancer is credited with coining the time period “Thirunangai” (divine girl), which she added as a prefix to her identify. “The way we deal with the different languages ​​– Hijra and Arafani – is very reactionary and degrading. So I preferred it to be referred to as Thirunangai. When the former Prime Minister, the late M. Karunanidhi, learned of this, he ordered that the category ‘others’ under the gender section of official documents be replaced with this term. It was a great move,” she says.

Narthaki has traveled to greater than 24 international locations to provide shows and provides lectures. “Although I did not have a formal education, I try to make up for that with intensive reading. I have a good collection of books on Tamil literature. Earlier, I was embarrassed about not being able to speak English, but this somehow pushed me To engage deeply with Tamils. Next week, I will go to Nagapattinam to speak on the topic of ‘Salangai pesum Sanga Tamil’ at the book fair,” she says enthusiastically.

While Nartaki says the dance healed her scars, made her feel comfortable in her skin and gave her the strength to face the world, she is also aware of the prejudices that still exist in the cultural realm. From the outside, she appears receptive to the marginalized but does not always reflect this progress and inclusivity in her approach and position. “My artistic achievements are often viewed from a gender perspective. At cultural events, organizers and artists sometimes present me as just a transgender artist from Bharatanatyam, which is certainly not my only claim to fame. It hurts.”

Narthaki waited for a couple of 12 months to enter the gurukulam Kittappa Pillai in Thanjavur. “I needed to show to him that I wasn’t there simply to hunt refuge from the Nice Unhealthy World. I labored arduous to realize expertise in kind and method. Each second of the fifteen years he spent coaching below him was price it, gave me an identification and confirmed me the way in which ahead. “Getting recognition from the Academy of Music is the very best level of my profession. It is excellent to be a part of a nurturing surroundings. I keep in mind after I walked to obtain the Padma Shri from Chief Ram Nath Kovind, I silently thanked everybody who helped me perceive my worth,” Narthaki says.

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