What I was trying to express in my post yesterday was that I feel overwhelmed by the amount of tandhava in my own dance. Tandhava, as I understand it, is the energetically masculine movement, which is awesome, strong, direct, sharp and focused. Traditionally, tandhava is seen as masculine and its counterpart Lasya is feminine, graceful, and soft. Although I hardly feel like I’m dancing unless I’m moving with tandhava, I’ve been longing for softness, for the balance perhaps. Thinking about lasya, my thoughts returned to a beautiful Ashtapadi, a Sanskrit poem, that I fell in love with a few years ago: Sa virahe tava dina. “Without you, Krishna, she is feeling intense separation.”
The person that allowed me to fall in love with this poem by bringing it to life was Leela akka. It was the first time that every movement and every word became so vivid and real to me. Her dancing to this is extremely vivid in my mind still, years later.
In this poem by Jayadev Goswami, one of the gopi-girls of Vrindavan, Radha’s sakhi, finds Krishna sitting forlorn on the banks of the Yamuna. Without you, the sakhi says, Radha feels such intense separation that cooling sandalwood paste burns her, the rays of the moon feels like fire, and even the wind stings her as if snake venom was mixed in the breeze.
After I danced this, I felt such a softness and an openness in my heart…