Manipuri performer Suman Sarawgi on what it takes to thrive as an artiste
Acclaimed Manipuri performer Suman Sarawgi has been dancing for 40 years now, so she really does know what it takes to thrive in the performative art spectrum. “When you’re true to your art, it really shows,” she tells us. Sarawgi, who started her training under Priti Patel is also the founder of Sparsh Studio for Performing Arts and the director of The Doodle Room, both of which are spaces encouraging the newer generation to cultivate performative arts as a means of self-expression. We spoke to Sarawgi about her awe-inspiring journey so far:
Tell us how you came to start Sparsh and Doodle Room
I started Sparsh 11 years back, once I branched out on my own. It’s a performing art studio, we also host classes like western classical, salsa, Bharatnatyam. I wanted a separate space where I could host kids’ workshops and classes, so we came up with The Doodle Room, which has everything from ballet to hip hop to instruments.
Do you enjoy how the classical dance spectrum is shaping up?
There are so many new avenues now. There are good bad sides to it, every coin has two sides. We do have kids who lean towards classical art forms and want to pursue the training. Then there are some who do not want to go through the training and yet want to be a dancer.
You invite personalities for workshops too!
Yes, we started it back when it wasn’t as prevalent. I remember we started with celebrated Bharatnatyam performer Malavika Sarukkai who came to our institute about 6 years ago, and then there was no looking back. Then we also hosted Kathak dancer Rajendra Gangani, Rama Vaidyanathan, Sujata Mohapatra for workshops.
Women who have inspired you
I really admire Indira Gandhi, my teacher Priti, performers like Sharmila Biswas and Madhavi Mudgal have also been inspirations.