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.

3 comments:

Aragang said...

Visithra, you take very good photos. These photos are so beautiful and vibrant and alive! And good food for thought on dance and performing, too!

sabrina said...

Why exactly are they prohibitd from doing that dear?

visithra said...

aragang : thanks dear ;) must capture the essence of dance ;)

saby : simply coz its distracting and unprofessional - cute if its a child.

when a performer is performing everyones eyes is on them - the moment they fiddle with their costumes or jewelery - u the audience will get distracted n the whole message and effort of the dancer is lost