Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Greatness

Shiva Ganesha

People always categorise dancers in one mould and are often surprised when dancers out of the mould do well. Though I’ve left the school years ago, I usually go back to watch kids I’ve taught, performed or the ones I’ve watched every Navarathri. It’s nice to see improvement, sad to see the same mistakes and quality being repeated by the same people and amazing to see new talent sparkle.

There was this Odissi group performance where I was entranced by a plump dancer. She stood out as her eyes sparkled and glowed everytime she looked at the audience. That is showmanship something that a lot of dancers take for granted. You have to smile, you must engage the audience.

Then there was Saswati Sen, renowned Kathak dancer who decided to delight us with her performance. Perhaps in her early 60s, she held the audiences attention with her expressions and twirls. Wow I was mesmerized.

I was recently accused of ignorance and ill heart on one of the reviews I’d written. The gist of the objection was I had no knowledge of music and dance, to me dance was only about fast numbers and I was on some vengeance to defame.

Saswati Sen re-emphasied what I had written back to him, it is not age or looks that justifies a dancers seniority or capability. You will be a great dancer at any age in any number if you were always a good dancer. She gracefully slide across the stage, twirled like a teenager and entranced with her expression. It was as if Devi herself was dancing that night. And what a humble person.



I’d also pointed out stage appearance. All dancers are strictly prohibited from fiddling with their costume or jewelry during their performance. The Odissi performers front piece was slowly dismantelling though not at the risk of exposure, but not one dancer touched their costume throughtout the duration of the performance. The front piece slowly expanded and danced its own dance, yet they did what they were supposed to, ignored everything.

Gaze Grace

It’s always easy to claim greatness with the number of years you’ve been a dancer or a musician, but trust me a lot of musicians and dancers in this country don’t deserve it. Neither do they have the humility to realize one is always a student in the vast ocean of knowledge that is music and dance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Navarathri

Navarathri

With all the editing I’d been doing , squeezing in Navarathri seemed a chore. Still I decided to head to the usual place only to reach there and realize the event had started hours earlier and had just finished. So instead of sulking we decided to head to my favourite temple instead. Perhaps it was meant to be.

There was a different ring to the manthras. Devi looked gorgeous and there was a new vigraham decorated as Shivashakti. But it was the nadaswarams playing of Ayingiri Nandhini that sent a vibration through me. The simple verse took a form of its own as they increased the tempo, sending magic across the floor. The beat pulsated as the priests made their rounds with the arathi and vibuthi. What a moment.













There's always a reason for everything,good or bad. I guess that was where I was supposed to be.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya

Selamat Hari Raya @ Eid Mubarrak

Selamat Hari Raya @ Eid Mubarrak to all friends and everyone else have a wonderful and safe holidays. Don't go crazy on the roads.

I was watching this kid with his father for some time, he still didn't want to smile eventhough the dad let me take their photo. ;)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back with stories

I owe this site an update. The problem is I have been blogging but over at V-Eyez since all I do there is post photos.

Well to recap a few things I changed the other blog's look, had a lovely holiday in Kuantan, had a lovely road trip to pahang in the same week ;p, enjoyed and shot a 9 day wedding of a very close family friend.

Bridal reflections

Right after my brothers wedding, we were all waiting for this wedding and they had a seriesof events set for everyone picking the Merdeka weekend to host the events.

It started of with a 5 day nallangu ceremony or cleansing ceremony which was pretty tame compared to my brothers. He got bullied because of me, she kinda escaped. Oh well woman get away with things ;p The cerenomies were super fun though Mehendi night was my favourite since everyone was laidback and we were having conversations.

Became friends with a couple of kids, a particular one became my photography model for the duration of the event. The things I made him do and he would gamely do all but only for a mere few seconds. Boys are impossible I tell you.

One the last night before the wedding, they had a Mehendi Station set up so that everyone could get dolled up for the wedding. Guess who were the first one's up? The little boys! The ladies had to make way for the gentlemen. By that evening everyone was pretty tired and since it was a morning wedding people started leaving as soon as they got their hennas done. Since I was suffering from my usual wedding-shooting-wrist-pain I opted out since I needed my daily hand massage.

Oh yes I forgot to update over here, I got myself a few new toys, a Canon 40d, 2 lenses, a new bag, light, light stands and more. All work awesomely though one lens was bought just for the coming trip to India.

Yessiree people I'll be in India - Tamilnadu at the end of the month. To be precise I will be in Chennai on 1, 2, and 5 October. Hope to see some of you then.

Anyways back to the story so far. The wedding was just beautiful, she is not just a pretty lady but a lovely person too. Loved the decor for the wedding and the make up. The priest was also a very close family friend, he's practically known me since I was a 3 year old tot. He kinda bugged me about getting married everytime we met. Lol everyone bugged me! ;p

A union of hearts

The thing I love about weddings is there's so much that goes on and in that time so much emotions are exchanged. we followed the couple back home for the welcoming ceremonies at both houses. Oh yes thank god they had police escorts, since they were roadblocks everywhere on the eve of Merdeka. Oh well!

The cops kinda enjoyed the trafficless roads most of the way and since I had a videographer in the car we played catch ;p

The next night was the wedding dinner at Prince Hotel. And another dinner at their home 2 nights later. Now that was a long day since they had a welcoming ceremony at their new house just that morning. The next day was the day we were all waiting for. The ceremony that seems to get cut nowadays, manjal neeratham where tumeric soaked water is splashed on everyone.

I assumed I had immunity with the camera on me. Unfortunately once they got bored of splashing each other they decided I was the next victim, the aunty came after me with water with an ultimetum, take of the camera or get drenched with it! I had no change of clothes! Anyways once i got the cameras off 20 people attacked me at once. so not fair!

They even called people to rush from school and work to get drenched. Thanks to some ingenious lies the unsuspecting victims arrived home where we waited outside their cars ready to splash ;p

My mom was a victim too, with me devicing the plans. I got her to take the cameras in and the moment she got out she got her royal splash ;p

Anyway we drove home all wet with newspaper covered seats and got back for the final ceremony where the bride finally leaves home. Usually super early on all the other days she was surprisingly late. As she finally walked out saying bye to everyone and hugging all, the youngest brother got us all in tears as he refused to let go. There I was clicking away with tears flowing down.

Told you weddings are an emotional rollercoaster.

Alrighty to check out some of the tonnes of photos head to V-Eyez and I'll get back to editing.