Bengaluru-based Bharatanatynam dancer Rukmini Vijaykumar releases a new dance film, Expectations

In the new dance film shot in the Maldives, dancer, and actor Rukmini Vijaykumar attempts to throw light on the multifaceted personalities of people in the digital age 

author_img Sanath Prasad Published :  27th October 2021 01:33 PM   |   Published :   |  27th October 2021 01:33 PM
Rukmini Vijaykumar

Rukmini Vijaykumar

Life is a combination of different emotions. With the digital era taking over, people are becoming more expressive about their thoughts and ideas. However, the question remains whether the life on social media is an accurate depiction of the real one; are people expressing a different side of their personality on social media; is perception taking over honesty? 

This is what Bengaluru-based Bharatanatynam dancer Rukmini Vijaykumar expresses in her new dance film titled - Expectations - a concept, conceived and choreographed by Vijaykumar herself. The dance film, presented by The Raadha Kalpa Dance Company that released on October 25 on YouTube, was inspired partly by music and partly by her own life experiences.

Shot at Maldives in April 2021, the video attempts to reflect the dual personalities of people online and offline with the use of Bharatanatyam vocabulary. From running away from reality to disguising oneself with a happy face, the video cuts through the everyday life of the current generation who project their lives which are far from reality. 

The video also premiered at the Indo-American Arts Council last month. According to Vijaykumar, she was inspired by the song The Four Seasons, rendered by Carnatic artiste Ambi Subramaniam. “I kept listening to the song repeatedly and had imagery in mind. I realised that with social media there is so much stress about how people look, click pictures, post stories leading to perception management. I have had such experiences and I wanted to express them through Bharatanatynam,” says Vijaykumar.

The idea of conveying the ‘unrealistic expectations of oneself’ through an art form was never a challenge or so says Vijaykumar. “ I communicate better through my art form than any other way. I connect with the idea of projecting ourselves differently. The dance film is open to interpretation and it does not convey any particular narrative,” says the artiste.

Dance is a medium of expression of ideas and moments in life when one wants to shed the expectations that arise within. “All of us play different roles in life. But the question is, at which point do we fail to accept ourselves as we are and at which point do we judge ourselves to the extent we need to be someone else in order to constantly feel satisfied. If you are changing  to fill the inadequacy, it is a problem,” says Vijaykumar, who has now completed a dance film centred around Shiva and Parvathy and also a dance film on the ‘idea of time.’