Mail Today, Delhi – A new Sarabhai ready to scorch the dance floor

Aastha Kapoor, Mail Today, Delhi

In Hindu mythology, Revanta is the son of Surya, the sun god and Saranya, the goddess of dawn. In reality, Revanta Sarabhai Shah has an equally impressive lineage. The Sarabhai name is synonymous with dance and its promotion in India. Revanta is the third generation dancer of the family following the footsteps of his grandmother, Mrinalini and mother, Mallika Sarabhai. Even in conversation, with his elegant hand movements and expressive eyes, it is clear that Revanta was born to dance. Revanta, 23, grew up at the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, in Ahmedabad. The Academy, started by his grandmom has been his home and work place.

He began dancing at the age of five, much to the delight of his mother and gave his first solo at 8. After graduating in multimedia from Philadelphia, where he studied graphic design, animation and performing arts, Revanta is back to doing what he does best — dance. His show in Delhi on Wednesday was about Shiva Natraja, featuring the masculine tandava , the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and destruction. Revanta is not concerned with stereotypes that come along with being a male Bharatnatyam dancer. “ Its a cultural perception. In the West, men are associated with ballet, salsa, tango. Its a plus as there are only a few male dancers and people want to see me dance.” There is immense pressure on Revanta to live up to his family name but he doesnt let it bother him much. Admitting the advantages of his surname, he says with a wry smile, “ I dont have to pay extra baggage while travelling.” Revanta does not want to limit himself to Bharatnatyam — he hopes to step into Bollywood soon. He is convinced that with his abilities on the dance floor and the good looks which run in his family, he will leave the likes of Hrithik Roshan and Shahid Kapur behind. Had he chosen to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, great scientist Vikram Sarabhai, it would have been a different story altogether.

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