Ishwarya Balabharthy, the founder of Natyataara Dance Company Chennai, is a remarkable woman who embodies the essence of independence and self-reliance. With her passion for dance, she has carved a path for herself in the world of Bharatanatyam and western dance styles. Through her unique fusion of traditional Bharatanatyam and contemporary influences, Ishwarya has not only created a distinctive artistic identity but has also empowered countless young dancers to embrace their individuality and explore their potential. Her determination, resilience, and unwavering belief in herself serve as an inspiration for independent and self-reliant women everywhere.
In the interview with Ishwarya, she conveyed her insights and herself in the questions and answers session.
What was special in your born & brought up life?
I was fortunate to be born into a family that valued the arts and culture. Growing up, I was surrounded by music and dance, which ignited my passion for Bharatanatyam and freestyle western dance forms from a young age. I had the privilege to learn this art from the best guru in Chennai, Dr. Sheela Unnikrishnan. I look up to her always as she is an epitome of hard work. Growing up in an environment where I had the opportunity to learn from such an exceptional mentor was truly special and shaped my journey in dance.
Your family & friends’ aspect in life in terms of support?
My family and friends have been my pillars of support throughout my journey. They have encouraged and believed in my vision for Natyataara Dance Company, providing unwavering support, both emotionally and logistically.
What is your favourite career moment?
One of my favorite career moments was witnessing the growth of Natyataara over the past seven years. Seeing our students evolve into accomplished dancers and performers has been incredibly rewarding.
What are your thoughts on work/personal life balance?
Maintaining a work/personal life balance can be challenging, especially in the world of dance. However, I believe it’s essential to find moments of balance to recharge and stay inspired. My family and friends help me strike that equilibrium.
How do you stay creative and innovative?
To stay creative and innovative, I constantly seek inspiration from different dance forms and cultures. I also encourage my students to explore their creativity, which, in turn, fuels my own artistic journey.
What are the most important lessons you have learned in life?
The most important lessons I’ve learned are perseverance and the importance of staying true to one’s passion. These qualities have been my guiding lights in both my personal and professional life.
What advice would you give to someone who is at the beginning of their career?
I would advise them to follow their passion relentlessly, work hard, and never stop learning. Surround yourself with supportive mentors and never underestimate the power of dedication.
How have you dealt with failures or disappointments?
Failures and disappointments are part of any journey. I’ve learned to view them as opportunities for growth, and I always find a way to pivot, learn from my mistakes, and come back stronger.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made in life?
One of the biggest mistakes I made was initially underestimating the importance of networking and collaboration. I learned that connecting with others in the industry is essential for growth and innovation.
How have you learned from negative people?
Negative people can be valuable teachers. They have taught me resilience and the importance of staying focused on my goals despite criticism or negativity.
How have you dealt with stress or conflict in your profession?
I tackle them by maintaining open communication, seeking compromise when necessary, and always putting the art and the well-being of my students first.
What are the most important skills or traits for success in your industry?
In the dance industry, dedication, discipline, creativity, adaptability, and the ability to connect with your audience are crucial. These traits, combined with a deep love for the art, can lead to success and fulfilment.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
In the world of dance, several challenges persist. One of the foremost is financial sustainability, as dance companies often rely on funding and ticket sales, which can fluctuate. Additionally, the lack of accessible dance education and training opportunities can be a hurdle for aspiring dancers. Lastly, preserving and promoting traditional dance forms while embracing contemporary trends presents a constant balancing act.
How have you dealt with discrimination or sexism in your field?
In addition to promoting equality and inclusivity, it’s essential to mention that, as someone who has personally experienced body shaming throughout my life, I hold a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of discrimination, including comments related to race, color, and caste. Our commitment to creating a safe and respectful environment at Natyataara Dance Company extends to addressing body image issues and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background, feels valued and respected. The story covered by Fame Finders Media