Reva Nair is a student of Kathak and is a 10th grader at Oakton High school in Fairfax, VA
1.When did you start dancing and who are your gurus?
I have danced every since I have recollection of life, however I started taking lessons at the age of 7. Mrs Purvi Bhatt is my guru. I’ve had the privilege to take workshops with Guru Mrs Maneesha Saathe. I also learn Hindustani classical vocal music which is an important element to Kathak.
2. How do you prep for a dance performance?
I dream about dancing…I visualize the audience, with my teacher watching me and swaying along. I feel the joy that the rhythm and music fill my heart with! Yes I also practice extra for the intricate pieces and on the feedback I have received from my teacher.
3. What’s your favorite dance item or music piece you listen to when you want to connect to dance?
I love Gat Bhaavs, which are Gat pieces that tell a full story, typically from Indian mythology, in pure classical form. My favorite character is Krishna, who has a range of emotions – from being mischievous, loving, romantic and divine. So to connect to dance, I love to hear the flute playing to tabla.
4. How would you describe an amazing dancer and do you have any inspiring role models?
When we love to dance, and give ourselves to it… breathing the surs, bating in rhythm, tapping our fingers & toes to that new Toda we learnt… we are on a journey to unify with dance. Then, it’s not about the audience or the applaud, it’s not about the performer or their contentment, it’s about the dance.. in it’s absoluteness.. that’s when we become amazing – as nature rejoices in amazement of sur & taal!
My role models are Guru Mrs Purvi Bhatt, Guru Mrs Maneesha Saathe, Guru Mrs Shambhavi Dandekar and senior student Shaalini Desai.. who have all, through their journeys of life, experienced moments of this absoluteness of dance and the tranquility it unfolds upon those who witness in awe & reverberation
5. What is the most important life lesson you have learnt because of dancing?
Whatever you do, do it for the joy it brings to you, or the joy it will, through perseverance. Every other material aspect of activities that people pursue are secondary.
6. In your eyes, what’s your biggest achievement or moment of satisfaction (in dance)?
I am still waiting for such a moment of satisfaction… there have been glimpses of that absoluteness of dance, sometimes just during practice with my Guru or when performing on the stage but it is a lifetime of journey, if even that is enough to find our biggest achievement.
7. It’s the year 2024 – where do you see yourself in the dance field?
I will be dancing… teaching little kids, how to create joy through Kathak, where ever I am, and making time to continue learning from my Guru Mrs Purvi Bhatt.