Sukanya Chand, is the Director of ‘Natya Nirvana’ with a mission to enrich the Central Ohio community through arts education and promote India’s dance and music, encouraging multicultural awareness and cultivating local talent. She is known for her performances in the styles of Bharatanatyam and Odissi, two of the eight Classical forms in India among others.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? It would be very difficult for me to pin point just one person as my role model. I learn from everyone I meet and have learned from everyone I have worked or collaborated with. Everyone has something to offer and something to teach. I believe that you are a product of your own environment. I have received the very best from my parents who created a mental model of the world around me when I was growing up. My dance gurus or masters have been a great source of inspiration for me and still continue to be. They have shaped me to be who I am as a performer. I have collaborated with great number of individuals and with my fellow artists, every single one of them have been my role models. I yearn to learn from them – follow their techniques and watch their movements, I am awestruck by their creative spark. Also, I find myself learning when I teach my students, they have made me a better teacher.
The greatest challenge I faced in the early days of my career was difficulty in making the right choices. We have many opportunities to do lots of different things, how can one choose the right direction that will lead them to where they want to be? One cannot predict the future, in the end you have to follow your passion and follow your heart. As an artist I am more attuned with my emotions. I was passionate about dance early on and I just followed what my emotional beliefs were. With lots of support from family and loving friends, and a tiny bit of luck, I believe most challenges can be overcome.
VISION FOR YOUR FUTURE: Though I cannot predict what the future holds for me, I know for sure that I will be following my passion and my dreams for next 10 years and beyond; Which is to bring Indian performing arts to Central Ohio. The Indian sub-continent has been blessed with fine arts that date back thousands of years. There are two distinct forms of Indian classical music and variety of regional dance styles. I will be working relentlessly to enrich the Central Ohio community through arts education and promote India’s dance and music, encouraging multicultural awareness concerts and cultivating local talent through my company Natya Nirvana.
ADVICE FOR GIRLS:
On ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS
Think big, but act incrementally and take a step by step approach in whatever career path you choose. For every step you take it is vital to have some mechanism for honest feedback and relentless improvement. Success is never stumbled upon or an accidental event, it is a mere cultivation of talent, character and attitude toward what one does better and make it extraordinary in their way. All of us dream to be somewhere or to do something and dreams are accompanied by risks; there are no dreams without risk. Understanding and embracing risk is at the core of all successful people, one must take calculated risks to leap forward and bounce ahead.
On DEFINING YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTY
I grew up in the eastern hemisphere and live in the western hemisphere, embracing both eastern philosophy and western way of living. Character development leads to inner beauty; but character development is not a prescribed curriculum in preparatory schools or academia. Most trades can be learned, you can go to college to become a doctor or a lawyer, but there are no schools or colleges you can go to become a better person. The need to fit in is a human endeavor, we are all first and foremost social-beings, we long to connect with our fellow primates, we all want to be recognized and to be part of something and we want everyone to accept us. We must first acknowledge that this world is a diverse place with endless possibilities, there is something for everyone and everyone belongs somewhere. If one ever feels that they don’t fit in, they should read Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling. The perceived ugly duck was harshly mistreated by its own community, and felt it was never accepted by anyone, as it roamed and wandered the wilderness, only to find out that it was indeed beautiful and was accepted by a flock of swans. If one feels that they don’t fit in, then it is a signal to spread their wings and explore.