India’s Classical Man Dancer: Rajendra Nyathi

Glass ceiling of one or another kind exists in society: women, gender, minorities or to a non-dominant group. If there is a glass ceiling for men in Indian arts and it is in performing arts. How many men dancers are there in India? Even if someone wants to pursue dance as a career especially an Indian classical dance, will a parent encourages it or the society or the conditions in the country allow a person to pursue the art form as a profession or as a means for livelihood?

From the age of ten, Rajendra Nyathi started to dance, and he consistently learned the two eminent and prominent dance forms of India: Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi from different masters from Hyderabad to New Delhi ranging from Swapna Sundari to Leila Samson.

Today, at the age of 51, Rajendra Nyathi continues to dance, give performances and teach dance. How is it possible to establish himself as a classical man Indian dancer? In an interview to TeluguRajyam.com, Rajendra says, he could not think of anything else to pursue in life other than to learn dance and perform dance and he could succeed to have a career as a dancer because of determination, patience, respect to his gurus (both male and female).

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Rajendra Nyathi was born and raised in Hyderabad, and continues to live in Secunderabad but gives performances in different parts of the world. He is a regular visitor to Hong Kong where he teaches dance. He has an MA in Performing Arts from Hyderabad’s Central University. The theoretical and practical knowledge established himself as a teacher.

In a career of forty years, he has travelled to more than sixty countries and to every nook and corner of India. His first overseas trip was in 1997 when he was a member of team that toured in Europe to narrate the life of Jesus Christ through Bharata Natyam. He says there was no shortcut for him to become a dancer, and believes in sincerity and hard work to become artiste.

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