Her name is Ildikó Gulyás. She teaches Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical form of dance in Hungary. She is an example of dedication, determination, and strong willpower quite visible form her exemplary performances in her country and a good number of disciples who learn dance and music from her.
Welcome Ildikó to Blogcritics. How would you briefly describe your journey towards music?
I have qualifications in western music – i am basically a music teacher and choral conductor – but I was teaching in school for two years only before I left to India. I had my initial training in Bharatanatyam in Hungary, along with some lessons in Carnatic music-vocal.
In 2002 i received the ICCR scholarship and i was officially a dance student of "Kaladiksha" run by my guru Padmashri Meenakshi Chitharanjan. Meanwhile I joined Music Academy Madras –Teacher's Training College, where I studied Carnatic vocal and attained my Certificate in 2004.
I also joined Mrudangam classes at the Academy and also went for private classes to Padma Bushan Umayalpuram Sivaraman.
I returned to Budapest in 2006. Since then I teach and perform Bharatanatyam, and for short term Carnatic vocal as well. I still continue to sing in choir to keep in touch with western music – this keeps my voice and ears in training. We have many concerts and I have travelled with this choir from Japan to Argentina.
At what age you find yourself inclined towards music and later how did you get inclined to Indian Classical Dance?
I started to learn classical western music at the age of six. My parents put me into a musical elementary school, where we had every day music classes as part of the syllabus. We also sang in the school choir. Later I played the flute also for six years and I went to a music high school, where I could continue my music classes every day and take up some piano for my entrance exam for higher musical education.
From where did get have your western music qualification, when, and what are they?
I finished college in Budapest in 1998. My subject was music and solfeggio, a methodology for teaching music to children between 7-14 in elementary schools and music schools. I had a history of music and piano as compulsory subjects. Choral conducting is similar to leading an orchestra, but here we work with a number of singers, tech them, direct them musically, build up a concert, and conduct it. Choral singing is quite popular in Hungary.