The Empress of Dance : Kevesha Pillay

Meet Kevesha Pillay a 28-year-old programmer by day and a classical Bharatanatyam dancer by night. Kevesha shares with us her personal experience of finding contentment in dance and how this form of art has been so influential in many aspects of her life.

For those that are not familiar with this type of dance it dates back to ancient Indian history and includes many Sanskrit and Tamil context. The creatively choreographed hand, facial and body movements performed by the vibrantly dressed performer expresses devotion and is known as a temple dance.

How did your journey into the genre of Bharatanatyam dance begin?

My dance journey began at the age of 7 when I began dancing with the Kumari Shiksha dance institute home in Durban. I grew from strength to strength in my dance group and picked up techniques with ease. Being a young Indian child from humble beginnings this form of art kept me busy and on the right path in life.

What is the name of your dance group and how often do you practice?

In Durban I dance with the Kumari Shiksha dance institute known as KSDI. However, with my line of profession I am based in Johannesburg for work and have the honor of dancing with Desi motion. We practice weekly and have formed a bond amongst the group. We are always encouraging each other to be the best version of ourselves in out art.

Are there any special traits or requirements one needs to be a professional dancer?

The root of every art stems from passion and dedication. If you are not willing to practice and improve your skills then opportunity will rarely find you.

I remind myself of my purpose and why I dance. Once I am on stage the music consumes me and my body just moves.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you to dance?

My guru Shree mathi Shiksha Singh, she has mentored me and has inspired me to work hard at my talent.

What has been your most memorable performance thus far?

Every one of my performance is memorable to me but the fondest memories of dance I have is when I lost my son at birth and turned to dance to keep me sane and help me get pass that horrific time in my life.

When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?

We are usually hyped during our dance class and tend to catch up on personal aspects of our lives.


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