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'Art in sync with society'

"My art is not separate from my commitment towards the society", says noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 16:39 IST

Eminent dancer Mallika Sarabhai has many facets to her personality.

Apart from being a noted dancer, she is an actor, an editor, a television anchor and a doctorate from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Despite wearing so many hats, she is not aloof from her social responsibilities either.

"My art is not separate from my commitment towards the society. It can never be seen in isolation, " she says, when asked about her decision to go to court against the Gujarat government's alleged role in the 2002 riots.

"My conscience would not have forgiven me, had I kept quiet," she says, during an informal interaction here.

Mallika who was recently here to participate in the Vikram Sarabhai Arts Festival sounded very excited about the response, the festival received.

"This is the first time we have presented a dance monologue here. It needed weeks of preparations. After all the hard work, such a response is indeed amazing, " she says.

Bouyed by the response, she now plans to organise the festival annually in Delhi apart from taking it to some other Indian cities.

"We would definitely bring this festival every year to the national capital. There are plans to take it to the other metros as well as Hyderabad and Pune, " she says.

She is also working on her new project called Unheard Voices.

"I am really looking forward to this project. We hope to take it to the schools and colleges of the country, once it is ready," she says.

Mallika, who along with her mother Mrinalini co-directs the Darpana Academy of performing arts in their home town Ahmedabad also has great future plans for the academy.

The academy already has separate sections which deal with film production, publication and development of the Indian folk arts.

The dancer, whose role of Draupadi in Peter Brooke's Mahabharat, a film made in English and French received critical acclaim in many countries, always tries to address social issues in her dances, plays or operas.

About her choice of subjects, she says, "I work on those projects which appeal to me. There is no fixed framework."

Mallika has also worked as a television anchor in programmes such as Turning Point, Showreel, and Kaleidoscope.

When asked how she manages to take care of so many committments, she says, "I love life, what else? "