Swadesh Dancer Profile – Arushi Mudgal
Arushi Mudgal is one of the foremost young talents in the field of Odissi today, known for her technical virtuosity and creative approach to tradition. She has trained under her aunt and Guru Smt. Madhavi Mudgal at the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, a premiere music and dance institute started by her grandfather Pt. Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya and headed currently by her father, Shri Madhup Mudgal. Arushi has also had the opportunity of seeking guidance from great maestros and dancers like Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Smt. Leela Samson, Smt. Priyadarshini Govind and Smt. Sujata Mohapatra, which has further enriched and refined her approach to the arts.
Arushi shares her views on Swadesh:
1) What does Swadesh mean to you?
Multiplicity is what comes to my mind when I think about my country. There is a variety of culture, music, dance, colours, languages, clothes, peoples…yet there is something that binds us, and connects us. For me, Swadesh is this connect. Even though we are all different, still there is place for all here. This is where one can always come back; this is home. And what fascinates me here is the simplicity of faith – faith in God, faith in some spiritual energy, faith in family, faith in one another, faith in oneself… faith in simple things of life that bring simple joy. This is ‘swadesh’.
2) What part of the process of creating Swadesh has been the most interesting or enjoyable to you? Or the most challenging?
To try and incorporate the magnitude of ‘swadesh’ in one evening is not easy. There is so much one wants to explore when talking about India. The challenge, which is also the most interesting bit, is to bring forth the abstract and essence of our country in the given time and space.
3) What do you think audiences can expect or look forward to in Swadesh? What do you hope they’ll take away with them? What will they experience?
Swadesh is not an end but a process. The audience will experience ‘swadesh’ through our experiences and our lives. Each one of us has a unique relation with our country, and we attempt to bring out this experience through our art forms. This performance involves us not just as artistes but as individuals, as beings; it involves our sentiments and emotions. The audience will join us on our individual yet fused journey, which we are also only exploring and unveiling.
Read Production Diary 1, Production Diary 2, Production Diary 3 and Production Diary 4 for further insight into the production, and take a look at Swadesh In Pictures to get a feel for the final production.