Sudha Chandran: Dancing connects me to another world

No matter how stressed or tired she is, once is on the stage, there is no turning back for actress-dancer Sudha Chandran. The actress says that dance is her life, her soul and everything else that matters.

“I perform in the South and it’s been a regular feature because I’m doing this serial for Zee Telugu, and I’ve been dancing in most of their events. This actually gives me a lot of scope to be dancing on a lot of south numbers, which I miss, because I live in Mumbai. So, this gives me the opportunity and Zee Telugu has left no stone unturned to make this happen. They make sure that I participate in most of their events where I’m dancing and dance is my passion. So, if you’re talking about my performances in India or abroad, yes, I just simply love performing on stage. I think the feel of the stage itself is something that cannot be explained in words. The moment you come on stage, no matter how tired I am, when I am performing, all my stress goes away. It releases me of all my tension and pain. It connects me to another world. I create a bubble around me and I’m so, so, so happy in that bubble. When I am performing, I think that is my world. I own the stage and I love to perform on stage,” she says.

The actress is 56 years old and is still known for her absolutely mesmerising performances. “Age is just a number. I think I’m too young. Look at Vaijanti Malaji, she was performing at the age of 86. I think I should be ashamed to say that I am old. I would be ashamed, if I do not perform on stage, even at this age. In fact, she has been my inspiration then and now and forever. I saw one of the clippings where she was performing at the age of 86 and on the stage during her performance she performed a Sashtang Namaskar on stage. She got up with the same ease and started performing. So I think legends like Vaijanti Malaji, are people who are idols, are examples, are legends to whom I look upon. So I don’t think at the age of 56 I should be thinking. Can I dance at this age? This thought has never ever come into my mind and especially when I dance, age never ever comes into my mind. Basically, it is  just your physical fitness. And if you enjoy doing what you love, age is no bar. I think I wish to continue dancing. And I want to dance till the last breath of my life and the only prayer that I have for god is to please take my life when I’m performing on stage. I think that will be the best exit I can get from this world,” she says.

Ask her who is her dance inspiration, and she says, “I already said who is my inspiration. But yes, the other inspiration that I would love to talk about, especially when you lose something, is when you realise the worth of what you have lost. Initially when I used to dance, I used to dance more because my mother wanted me to be a dancer. I started dancing at the age of three. At that time, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to be a dancer or not. So probably it was my mother’s passion towards dancing that made me a dancer. I continued it because it was a part of my curriculum at school. If my school was a part of me, my dancing lessons were also a part of my curriculum, so all that I knew was that my life was divided between my school and my dancing school. But when faith snatched away this art from me, and when I was told that I can never dance again, is when I realised that I had lost something and I had to fight for it and get it back. I really didn’t know how, and how would I be able to do this? But they say that when you sincerely pray to God and you ask for it, even the universe answers back. Probably the eight months I was laying in the hospital bed is when I kept praying every moment that please didn’t take the stage away from me. It is a miracle that I got to go back on stage. And with the help of the Jaipur Foot, I continued to dance. So I think that’s probably what drives me to dancing.”