It is not very often that one gets to meet an Indian classical male dancer who is extremely handsome with a dashing personality and an attitude that shows his years of dance training. But this young, dynamic and extremely gorgeous Bharatnatyam dancer’s efficiency in the art form will keep him bright in audiences’ memories.
Let me introduce to you the superbly talented Unnath H.R, son of Mr. H.B Rathnaraju and Jayapadma and the disciple of Guru Vidhusi Ambale Rahjeshwari, a well known name in the field of dance in India and abroad. He is a post graduate in both Dance and English Literature, Vidwath in dance (professional graduate in Dance from the Karnataka State Board) and has been presented on stage in the major cities of India as well as in the U.S., Russia, Belarus, Malaysia and Thailand, and made his Sri Lanka debut to great acclaim in 2016. Unnath has won many prestigious awards and titles such as “Ekalabya Sanman” in 2009 from Orissa, “Natya Koustuba” in 2009, from Andhra Pradesh, “Abhinaya Nrutya Koumudhi” in 2010, from Andhra Pradesh, “Natraj Gopi Krishana Samman” in 2010, from Mumbai, Maharashtra, “Kalamandir Puruskaram”in 2013 at Peravoor, Kerala and “Natya Mayooram” for the best performance in 2014, April, Bhilai, Chattisghar. He stood “First Best Season Performer” of India in 2012, Pune.
Unnath is an ‘A’ grade Artist at Dooradarshan and has directed many dance ballets, and choreographed various dance repertory in Bharathanatyam, specialising in the Mysore school, and folk styles.
He is the Principal and Artistic Director of Natyakala Nivas, which was awarded the best culture revival centre for 2014, Travel Puruskar, from Maldives arts Council and GCC, Karnataka. He is training more than 150 students, and serves as the Managing Trustee for “Rathnakala Padma Kuteera Trust”. The credit of choreographing thousands of students for Republic Day and Independence Day from past 3 years goes to Unnath. Today he has crossed training more than 20,000 school students. Unnath is a member of esteemed group Prayathnam, classical dance exponents based in Chennai.
In India from Hampi Utsav to Natraj Gopi Krishan Dance Festival, from Natraj Dance Festival to Sankara and Noopra Dance festival, he has performed at all of them. Not just that the dancers world over recognise Unnath and his work as he has been a part of some very prestigious dance platforms such as the Battery Dance Festival in New York City, Incredible India in Huston Texas, Indian Culture Heritage Foundation, Dallas, Texas, Ganga Production at Temple of Fine Arts, Kuala Lampur , Malaysia, Performance for Rabi Chaya in Colombo Sri Lanka.
Not just that this super fit Bharatnatyam dancer has conducted workshops spreading the rich India culture and tradition at SARA Knight Ballet school and Irving School, New York City, Asiatic Society, in Dallas, USA and also for the Army Band, Dancers Guiled, Chanadana Dancers in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Unnath Hasaan has choreographed, scripted and composed music for many ballets some of which are Dashamaha Vidya (10 forms of shakti), Asta Lakshmi (8 forms of laskhmi), Soma, the survivor (a folk based ballet), Punyakoti (also folk based), Dasaavataram (10 incarnation of lord Vishnu), Bhakthi, Gnana and Viraagya a philosophical adoration to the bhakthi movement and many more.
Talent of Unnath just does not end as a terrific dance teacher and a marvelous performer; he is also an organiser of five prestigious dance festivals. Nrutya Milinda – it is a annual festival that aims in meeting the international standards for Indian performing arts, inviting professional artists from various parts of India. Suprajavath (a festival for budding children), Masika – a monthly festival for local or native artists, which invites arts from Hassan District. It includes forms such as Light Music, Hindusthani and Carnatic Music, Classical Dance forms, fine arts, etc. Trimasika – A festival that provides platforms for traditional dance and music. This Festival focuses on state level performers, allowing the performers to come with their creative piece or own choreographies and the most unique festival is the NKN Forum – is a forum for mentally abused arts. This forum provides performance opportunities for artists coming from various backgrounds.
At a very young age, Unnath has achieved a lot, but he has his roots deep into his city and has love for his land could be felt in his words and could be seen through his bright speaking eyes.
Tell us about your town Hassan
Hassan is a small town situated in south Karnataka, with a rich historical setup from 11th to 14th century and a history of at least 1800 years which also drives us late to the British colony which had set their offices for trades and financial transaction for over 150 years. As the decades passed, the city got suppressed without any cultural development or encouragement, except for having tourists visiting those picturesque temples sites and coffee gardens.
You have achieved a lot at a very young age. What are your future plans?
I want to create a forum of psychiatry, psychology with doctors, councilors and arts to overcome the basic child problems such as Asperger’s syndrome, Autism, Bipolar disorders, Dyslexia etc. Not just that I want to organise school programs to cultivate balanced, social and freedom of education.
Share with us more about the Dance Library?
In 2015, I started building up a Library, which has reached a level of finishing. To me dancing is not just dancing but its connecting ourselves to its interdisciplinary cycle of life, philosophy and methodology of learning. Internet can facilitate only a limited source of material to read and understand, but still there is a need for more. As a reader myself, I had collected books on various subjects since 2008 and thought, the habit shall help few budding and pursuing little minds to enrich their knowledge in the field of Dance, Music, Ancient History, Philosophy, Art History and development, Architecture, Archaeology etc., and their connections through interdisciplinary studies.
How can one become a part or help your unique Dance Library?
The easiest way to become a part of our dance library is by donation. Donation not in terms of money but by donating us books related to any performing or visual arts, Philosophy, Archaeology, Architecture, Ancient History, Mythology, Epics, Historical development of place, culture, Traditions, etc., Development of forms, dance, music, instruments, etc., Dictionaries, linguistic evidences and development, tribal traces, etc. One thing I promise is that the donors’ names shall be engraved on the Library walls.
Artists like Unnath Hasaan are very uncommon, who use their Greek God Adonis looks and the god gifted talent of dance in the right direction so that they can promote art and at the same time leave back a legacy that will be remembered forever.