When asked to list my creative influences recently, I was stumped. Partially because I haven’t quite claimed my creativity, but there is another reason. I’ve been living in a box, it seems like. Only recently have I started peeking out, all the while feeling like a “bad girl” for doing so. What a familiar experience. This is somewhat thematic of my life; my curiosity and questions strikes me as ungrateful, or the first step in a dangerous downward spiral. Thankfully, I’m growing out of that small-thinkingness. But because of my limited thinking, I didn’t really absorb many things I saw during my training into my own being. I somehow thought I couldn’t learn by watching. I had to sweat and strive to learn, that was the only way for me: Hard work = Dance. This must have been the operating principle during my years of training. In that sense, I can see that I was a donkey kind-off student! Hard-working, moving forward, but only going where I was guided, no where else. Maybe I’m being hard on myself in retrospect, but I do feel that I was quite self-limiting
I regret, for example, never meeting Chandralekha, whose ideas resonate with me and startle me with their directness and clarity. I regret that I was not aware enough to seek her out. In the last four years of her life, she was but walking distance from me at Kalakshetra. Only after her passing away in 2007 did I happen to visit Chandralekha’s place as it’s called. Even then, I only had a vague notion that Chandralekha was some type of rebel-dancer. Being a die-hard conformist at the time, I was mostly scared of her or anyone like her. I suspect that I will be in this question considering my creative influences for a while, but I am inspired by Chandralekha’s rebellion and her discoveries.
One of her final choreographies, a daringly sensual yet sparse dance called “Sharira” – Body:
PS: oh yes, my Dance-Challenge report 😛 Though my right leg was strangely buzzing, I did a number of adavus and Hindolam thillana in my class with Gayatri.