Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dance... Passion.. Hobby... and something more..!!!

Dancing has always been a passion for me..!! Right from when I was in Class II, I was trained in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattom – the traditional dance forms of Kerala and Tamilnadu… but being the shy kid that I was (yes! Some people might be a little surprised at this… But yeah I was a shy kid back in school).. I never ever used to take part in any of those cultural activities… I used to be scared of the whole fact of going up on stage and facing those people out there… whenever the teachers used to come into the class for searching out girls for all those various cultural items.. I’d sneak down below the desk and remain there until they left the room… I never found enough courage to volunteer for the same… forget that.. there was this one time that they actually chose me to be one of the angels in some biblical play they were putting up and I started bawling away to glory saying that I did not wanna do it… after that neither have they found the courage to choose me for anything even remotely related to cultural… heeheehehehe!!!

But irrespective of all that, my training in dance still continued and well I loved dancing! Then it was in Std.VII that I gave my first school onstage performance… along with another 10 girls, I performed for a Hindi Dandiya song… it was a wonderful experience… used to especially love the part of cutting classes for practice… then came tableau performances for the inter-school youth festivals which were simply a great time… we went out to the sub-district and the district levels with our theme and had a gala time… and I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE STAGE… :-)

After my tenth, I moved to Coimbatore for my 11th and 12th standards wherein my training in dance took a break… I continued my training in a myriad form…spurts of dance classes here and there etc… but somehow the affinity for the stage was still there and so I continued in Avila, performing classical, semi-classical numbers on stage and I basically loved the experiences… Then came college, in Palghat, which was actually more like a dance theatre… the first time I performed on the stage at Mercy College was for the Fresher’s day that we juniors put up for our seniors… the show was special for 2 reasons.. one for the fact that I was for the first time dancing for a Hindi film song number – cinematic (as its termed) – nothing to remotely do with classical dance – it was purely Bollywood style with a lot of western steps thrown in… the second reason was that, there was a kind of energy and zest within the group that I performed along with, simply because of the fact that we were shunned by the rest of the entire first year batch of girls, as we’d not taken any of their choices of song, or costume or anything into consideration.. Therefore there was a special kind of vigor in the way we performed… we gave it our 100% and that performance is still being talked about in my college… the 8 of us were so synchronized and our coordination was outstanding as per the audience reaction… :-) … we showed those girls in our batch and how!!! :-)… it still brings a smile onto my face whenever I think of it…
That stage at Mercy College was like my second classroom, or rather home away from home… have lost count of the number of performances I have given there… some classical, some western, some folk, some semi-classical…. It’s myriad!!!

Another one of the times that really stands out in my mind is when I did a ‘Kathak’ performance for my cousin’s wedding… the piece is special not just because I was trying out Kathak for the first time… I was all apprehensive and was sure I would miss out on steps and make mistakes… but far from that.. I completely forgot myself when I was dancing for that and the audience was just a blur.. But somewhere along the recital, I happened to see Appa’s face and it was glowing, a bright smile plastered on his face, he was watching me like he had never seen me dance before, with such pride and delight… I was blown over!!! That expression of Appa’s is always on my mind… Even better was when I was done with my show, everyone went and congratulated my parents for my performance… it was exhilarating!!

There have been a lot of pieces that stand out in my mind… another one during my MBA days, when I did a show with Shruti (one of my close friends now)…. It was called STEP-N-SYNCH where you could not see your partner … you had to be fully coordinated and synchronized in your steps with that of your partners’… that was great too… it was great because it was a challenge for us and we had to as usual show some people that we were good dancers and among the best…!! ;-)… And we did… we won the competition…. talk about modesty… :P…

I learnt basics of Jazz from Shiamak Davar’s school of performance arts… next in line is Salsa… and that’s hopefully sometime in April.. :-)

Dancing to me is not just a hobby or a leisure activity… as I said earlier it’s a passion for me… I dance when am happy, sad, angry, frustrated, stressed, depressed…!! It’s like a never ending quest for the unknown… my feet invariably start tapping out some obscure steps to some rhythm that goes on in my head at all times… I wanna learn as many dance forms as possible… and maybe continue my training in dance...

Maybe Sometime... Some day…!!

Till then as Shiamak Davar says… HAVE FEET, WILL DANCE!!! :-)

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