The founder of the Sundari Dance Group is Adrien Meszaros, an Odissi dancer, modern-dance and visual arts teacher.
Adrien Meszaros lives in Hungary, EU. She started her dance studies when she was thirteen years old. She spent ten years with contemporary (creative) dance and physical theatre (mime) and made certificate as a modern dance teacher. (classical ballet, art-jazz, dance history, Graham-techinque, Limon-techinque)
She tried several dance styles such as flamenco, afro-dance, irish tap dance, hip-hop dance, art-jazz, and martial arts like capoeira and iaido. Her academic qualification is visual arts teacher and computer graphic designer.
Since her first scholarship to India in 2005, she dedicated herself to Odissi dance. She’s representing the Kelucharan Gharana in Hungary.
She started to promote indian classical dances in Hungary in several ways: giving demonstrations, teaching, organising workshops for her Guru, and editing a link collection about indian dances. She created a hungarian online indian dance club, updating with the local dance news.
We had an email interview with Adrien.
Q1. Tell us about your childhood days. How you got attracted to dance?
In really early days, my mother brought me to prep dance classes. After getting to be a teenager we joined jazz-ballet class with my sister. From there in the high school I moved to contemporary-creative dance, what was lasting eight years, until my degree finished!
Q2. What was it that made you choose a dance that comes from a different country, having such a different background in its instruction and language and almost totally alien to the culture that you was brought up in?
I always loved different cultures dances. I tried flamenco, afro dance, irish tap and capoeira also. In this continuation I found to go to India and learn Indian dance.
Q3. Tell us about your training in Odissi. Where you took the training and how you liked it?
When I went first time to India, I got a scholarship to Bhaskara College of Fine Arts in Kerala. They offered Mohiniattam and Kathakali studies, but when I arrived I was told that they have only Odissi class for beginners. They just invited a young Odissi dancer from Orissa to establish Odissi in Kerala. (Since then its ended, of course.) Sashikanta Nayak was a student of Odissi Research Center, from Guru Kumkum Mohanty. He made me very rigorous training every day, I lost a lot of weight and loved it so much!
I love India, I had been there only two times yet, but I will go this year again. I learnt a lot, mainly that no use to be nervous and aggressive when things not happening to your wish. Becouse everybody will lough at you only, and will never understand what is you problem.
I love the shining eyes, the hospitality, the deep belief in higher good-God. I love the chicken dry fry-porotha, the fancy jewellery and the jasmine mala in my hair. These things I miss here in Europe.
Q5. Talking about your group, how you find the students and colleagues feel attracted to dance not native to their land?
Hungarians are really deeply connected to India in their soul. We have a lot of travelers, historians, writers, who discovered India well and passed through their knowledge. Just a example, that the first odissi critics and book was written by Charles Fabry (Fábri Károly) who was Hungarian.
There are a lot of yoga and meditation groups, even you can practice Hindu religion in several associations.
So thats why people know, and women are interested to learn the charmful beauty of Indian dances. And wishes to be more womanish with dancing Odissi. Which is proved to be come.
Q6. Do you train young students in Hungary? How you train those students?
I don’t train youngs yet. Who have their own desire to dance, they are mainly adults from 17-45 years. I follow the traditional training.
Q7. Talking about your presentations before various audiences, how you feel people find it pleasingly surprising that you present Odissi dance?
The audience used to love it and feel it has something transcendent message. They love to see the colorful costume, the eye-movements, listen to the amazing music and all.
Q8. What has been the best moment so far in your life as a dancer?
When I met with my present Guru Sandhyadipa Kar in Hungary, and that I got her blessings, and she is coming to teach me and my students every year!
Q9. What would be your message to young and budding dancers in foreign countries who would like pursue a career in Indian classical dance?
Be determined what you want, be thankful even one or two students and continue. Never stop learning and practicing. Join us to spread this beauty around the globe!