Rajashree Warrier is an eminent Bharathanatyam exponent from Kerala. She is also a classical musician and a media person. She gives Bharathanatyam concerts as well as Carnatic Vocal concerts all over India and abroad . Her passion remains deeply rooted in classical dance.As a Bharatanatyam dancer, Rajashree Warrier’s hallmark remains in her ability to captivate her audience by bringing forth the inherent beauty of Bharatanatyam. An accomplished classical musician and a research scholar with the Department of Music ,University of Kerala, she is a proven Carnatic vocalist and is keen to scale new heights in that field. She picked up the rudiments of Carnatic music from Late Sri Mullamudu Harihara Iyer. Further she fine honed her skills under Sri Perumbavoor Raveendranatha Menon, Smt Parassala B. Ponnammal and Sri B Sasikumar.
Another facet of the talented Rajashree has been her involvement with television programs since 1990. She scripts ,directs and presents programs for visual media. She has also anchored with élan many programs on state and national television that had to do with art, culture and music. She gives Indian Classical Dance and Vocal concerts all over India and abroad. Her innovate and exploring dance style combined with unhurried approach makes her performance stand out. The themes she choose reflect her varied interest and in-depth knowledge in Indian Culture, Arts and tradition.
“It is her ability to infuse beauty into whatever she creates, to transcend mere grammar and technique , to invest it with poetry and joy, giving dance an added dimension as it were. Her dance becomes an uplifting experience”. Presently she is the Director, UTTARIKA, Centre for Performing Arts focusing on Research and training in Bharatanatyam, Carnatic Music and Experimental Theatre.
Acclaimed as a creative artist whose work reveals the infinite spaces within the traditional form, Rajashree Warrier bases her dance on the principle that Bharatanatyam is a superbly evocative language where the dance who has mastered and internalised the idiom can write her personal dance poetry. She considers herself a contemporary classicist.
She has enriched her dance vocabulary and extended the frontiers of her dance tradition to evolve her own distinctive style . Her work, while remaining within the framework of classical Indian Dance , is contemporary in its interpretation and scope to communicate as a dynamic , continuously evolving ,classical dance form.
She learned Bharatanatyam from Guru V. Maithilee, Thiruvananthapuram and Guru Jayanthi Subrahmanian, Chennai.One of the top dancers of the younger generation in Kerala, Rajashree Warrier is a happy blend of brains and beauty, of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance. She rose like the morning star on the TV screen in Kerala, shining through the program Suprabhatham in Asianet. She came to every home in Kerala as an anchor and a presenter of umpteen number of TV programs. Born out of school youth festivals and a winner of many awards, she has grown over years into a mature artist. Performing dance recitals and giving music concerts on countless stages, Rajashree is a well-known presence on the cultural horizon of Kerala.
Initiated into classical dance and music at a tender age, Rajashree is lucky to learn under teachers who inspired her. Training under Guru V Maithili laid the early design to a splendid vocation. Later the erudite Jayanthi Subramaniam inspired the sublimities of Bharatanatyam in her formative years. She studied music under Perumbavur G Ravindranath. She also learned Dr. Balamuralikrishna’s compositions from Prince Rama Varma of Travancore Royal Family, eminent carnatic vocalist and veena mastero. With a Masters in Music, she is now doing PhD in music at Department of Music, Kerala University.
Learned Carnatic Music under late Mullamudu Harihara Iyer, Perumbavur G. Ravindranath, Parassala Ponnammal and B. Sasikumar. Also learned the compositions of Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna from Aswathy Thirunal Rama Varma.
Music Concerts :
Has rendered music concerts within India and abroad.
Major Recordings :
Rendered 30 Swati Tirunal Compositions for the Swati Tirunal Project of the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology.
Rendered eight compositions of Carnatic Music for the DVD project ‘Neela Varnam’
The name Rajashree Warrier will set off a series of images flickering across the Malayalee mindscreen : a proficient Bharatanatyam dancer who has given numerous stage performances inside and outside India a Carnatic Classical vocalist who has rendered music concerts at home and abroad . But the picture that will stay for keeps will probably be that of Rajashree, the doyenne of Malayalam TV anchoring.
She entered the visual media when it was still in its embryonic phase, in a stage at which ‘compeering’ to most people meant an announcer who glibly ad-libbed a few lines at the start of the show. In a sense, Rajashree was one of a handful of professionally qualified anchors who taught the viewers the real meaning of ‘anchoring’ – a master of ceremonies who held the reins of the programme firmly in his hand and decided the direction in which it should go. She joined Doordarshan in 1990 where she hosted Sameeksha, an intellectual discussion on the poems of Vayalar . Later she became a staff of a prominent channel and co-hosted the then premiere morning show Suprabhatam for 2 ½ hours everyday, for 4 years on the trot – a show with which she is identified even today. She has presented a popular cultural magazine Daivathinte Nattil for DD Kerala ; Directed,Scripted and Presented a series on the classical dances of South India Saparya for Amrita TV and another series on the cultural heritage of Kerala, Paithruka Keralam for Asianet.
Being one of the first in the field has its share of advantages and disadvantages. She had no role model to base herself upon, but she was able to give a free hand to her originality and talent and develop her own individual style. While her pertinent questions, clear reasoning, confidence and poise helped in no mean measure by her good looks and charming smile soon won her accolades – that included the Best Presenter Award a number of times – it was the air of genteel dignity that she brought to her programmes that set her apart. She was no ring mistress who do anything to provoke or goad her guests to give a good performance, but a refined hostess engaging them in a friendly, comfortable chat.
Rajashree, in her own words “is first a danseuse, secondly a vocalist and only then a TV presenter”. But since her unpretentious presentation, courteous manners and flawless pronunciation have made her one of the most easily recognized on-air personalities on TV today, it is as Rajashree the gracious anchor that Keralites will be most likely to remember her .
She is scripting Ragasaparya – a one hour musical feature based on Indian Classical Music for All India Radio, Tvpm. An acclaimed writer on Dance and Music, she is writing a series on dance and music titled Narthaki for pachakuthira, a publication of DC Books.
– Text courtesy – Amrita TV