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Dancer Spotlight: Manisha Nair

By on May 31, 2014

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Meet Manisha Nair.

Manisha Nair has been dancing since the age of five and is trained in the Indian classical dance genre of Bharatanatyam. She has experimented in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, and has performed and choreographed in Indian folk and Bollywood styles in the Chicago community where she grew up, and throughout her college career at Purdue University.  While dance has always been a primary passion for Manisha, her life was always entrenched in music. She grew up learning Indian classical Carnatic music and the sitar. Manisha currently dances with the Sa Dance Company and is a fitness instructor for Doonya.

 

 

We Interviewed Manisha…

©Carlton S. Chotalal Jr.

1. What is your dance background?
I’m trained in the Indian classical dance genre of Bharatanatyam, but have also experimented in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, and performed and choreographed in Indian folk and Bollywood dance.

2. Tell Us About Your First Dance Performance.
The first performance that I really remember was when I was 10. It was the first time that I was allowed to dance with the “older girls” and it was a dance where we had to use diyas (little lamps) so I was doubly excited. However, instead of using fake lamps, we were given real candles in glass containers, and during the last practice before the show, I accidentally dropped one of my candles and it broke! I ended up having to do the whole dance with just one diya :(

DSC_33893. Why SA?
I’ve seen and learned various styles of indian dance growing up, but can’t explain truly explain how blown away I was after I saw my first Sa show last year. It introduced indian dance in a way that I had never seen and you could feel everyone in the audience wanting to be a part of it. All I could think of was how jealous I was of the girls that I was watching… I hadn’t felt a pull like that in a while…I really just wanted to be one of them.

4. Who are your role models?
In life – Definitely my parents; In dance – Madhuri and Sridevi of course! shocking I know :)

5. Will you be dancing at 80?
As long as i’m alive :)

6. If you were stuck in a room and could only do one dance move over and over again what would it be?
Is there really ever just one dance move?
I feel like even when I try to repeat the same dance move it always turns out just slightly different than the time before :P

7. One word that describes dance to you.
Happiness