June 05, 2012 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
She has completed twenty years in the film industry as a choreographer and has worked in over 600 films. Known fondly as Swarna Master, she still considers every new assignment as her first project and works passionately till she is happy with it. Born and raised in Chennai Swarna is settled in Hyderabad and is currently working for Shekar Kammula's Life Is Beautiful.
Ask her the secret behind her untiring and consistent career in films she quips, "If you think positive, results will be positive. I don't believe in ranking, I have my own films and a loyal clientele and I never step over the toes and preserve my dignity.
I am aware that there is a trend and there is a demand for a particular generation, I respect and opt out of such films, infact, I'm not approached for a few films that fall in that genre. I have always done single card films that demand me to do five or six songs at a stretch; I've seldom done one or two songs for a film." After her studies in Tirupati, Swarna did a diploma in Bharatanatyam and was immediately introduced to movies. She first worked as an assistant for five years and got her break in Kodi Ramakrishna's film as a choreographer in Chilakapacha Kapuram and Pasum Ponn, a Tamil movie by P. Bharathiraja.
How does she balance her career and family? "I live in a joint family and that makes my job easier. Shootings don't happen every day isn't it..I do go outdoors but I can't help it if I'm required to travel for ten or fifteen days at a stretch. If you want something you have to forego certain things."
She recollects seeing Sankarabharanam when in the seventh standard and dancing with joy but little did she realise some day she would work for the people she admired and be honoured on stage by those she idolised on screen. "Imagine working for these people! It's unbelievable and sheer pleasure.
If you do hard work irrespective of your gender you will get your due..all you have to do is be dedicated. It isn't enough if you know dance, you should know how to command, be innovative, know technical details, never take things for granted, if you know the skills you will never be low on confidence and if you are confident people will not dictate you."
Missamma, Happy Days, Godavari, Rajanna were the films that fetched her popularity recently, her up and coming release is Mem Vayasuku Vacham. "I don't differentiate between a big and a small film and treat every film with the same respect and interest, sometimes some numbers despite being good fade away into the oblivion if it is a box-office disaster, it hurts that time.
My goal is to direct a film in Telugu but I'm looking for a good banner, I do have a subject but people arrive at conclusions very fast if it is a woman directing it. I will do it only when everything falls in place, waiting for the right opportunity."