In conversation with Sanjoy Roy at Awaken Florida, Jaipur Literature Festival, JLF 2022. She highlighted the profound connect between Mohiniyatam and its significant impact on the mind and body, especially for women. She also spoke about its major therapeutic, healing and empowering aspects for women and its universal resonance. That the usage of its elaborate hand gestures or mudras, along with its very complex dramatic facial expression, plays a crucial role in enabling women to freely express themselves and release suppressed feelings and emotions. Thus contributing majorly towards their wellbeing.
Femininity and Empowerment - Oxnard College
She spoke about women’s empowerment and how critical it was for every young girl to become aware of her inherent power, very early on in life. As that realization, went a long way in enabling every young woman, particularly, women of color, to be able to deal with life’s various challenges and be able to realize their full potential as individuals. It was therefore very critical for them, to not succumb to detrimental, limiting ideas of who they were, or how they were meant to be, as per dictates of their culture and society at large.
Loyola Marymount University
Seminar on Indic Religions And Performing Arts. Spoke about how some of the major aspects of Hindu philosophy and religion, reflect in some of Vijayalakshmi’s prominent choregraphies, like Unniarcha, Paryapti and the play Vidyottama, in which she acted and danced. She also provided an introduction to the dance form against its regional backdrop and its origin, evolution and renaissance over the decades. And the significant role, her Guru-mother Bharati Shivaji had played in its revival, reconstruction and propagation.
Regents' Lectureship Program, UCLA
Spoke during the performance and gave a public talk as well. She gave a brief introduction to Mohiniyattam and spoke about how the dance form was steeped in the Sacred feminine. She also spoke about the beauty, power and relevance of a traditional dance form like Mohiniyattam. That although, it was rooted in ancient traditions, it spoke universally to every woman, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, training or culture. The vocabulary of Mohiniyatam is so versatile, that it lends itself with equal ease to both traditional and contemporary choregraphy, like the Gita-Govinda and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet.
Agoura Hub, LA
Talk on Femininity at Agoura Hub. She spoke about how, in the last 5000 years, there had emerged a great imbalance between the masculine and feminine principle. That for a society to be healthy and peaceful, it was imperative that a balance was restored. Older cultures, like the Indian and South ASain cultures, are highly patriarchal and misogynistic, leading to an even more severe state of imbalance in society and causing greater harm to women. Therefore, it was imperative to create greater awareness about social evils plaguing society, to spark the necessary change.
Talk at Downtown, LA
She spoke to a group of young women, who had been rescued from sex-trafficking. Underlined how critical it was as women, to have self-worth and to practice self-love. It is the absence of self-worth, that paves the way for women, especially young women, to experience severe exploitation, abuse and violence. Which then becomes a regular pattern in their lives, a vicious circle, they are trapped in, simply unable to break out of.