I’ve Been Going GAGA Lately

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Three Reasons I’m Going Gaga:

1. If I had to describe myself in one word, I would say, I’m going gaga. Okay, that’s 3 words depending on how you count. It’s somewhat normal for me to feel confused and pensive about stuff that no one else around me seems to care about. Right now though it’s coming at me on a whole other level. It’s like an avalanche of stuff: a new career-opportunity (writing for media), graduate school plans, and lots of creative ideas. I’m grateful for all this, but it also makes my head spin. And on top of it, I cut my hair short which complicates my identity as a Bharata Natyam dancer further. It was admittedly a weak identification already, only ironically high-lighted by something so external as my hair. What will I do at the few upcoming performances I have? I don’t know… I wish I could dance without wearing any make-up, jewelry, or elaborate costuming. Western dancers do it all the time, so it’s really nothing radical. Still, I haven’t quite been able to reconcile my desire for sparseness with the glamour of Bharata Natyam.

2. Gaga Dance: After my dance-workshop with Leela akka, I flew straight into University of Florida’s dance intensive for my first experience of Gaga dance. I had no idea what Gaga was but trusted my friends in the dance department who all said I would LOVE it, and they were right.

In the words of Ohad Naharin, the creator of Gaga, “Gaga is a new way of gaining knowledge and self awareness through your body. Gaga elevates instinctive motion, links conscious and subconscious movement. Gaga is an experience of freedom and pleasure. In a simple way, a pleasant place, comfortable close, accompanied by music, every person with himself and others.”

Here is a great article from The New York Times that explains why its called Gaga and more: “Twisting the Body and Mind.”

3. Discovering Lady Gaga: If you’re like most people, when you hear the word “gaga” now you immediately think of pop-sensation Lady Gaga and her crazy antics. As the above article points out though, Gaga dance is not related to Lady Gaga and was indeed created before. Still, I can’t write a whole thing about gaga without saying a few words about the Lady herself. And this is so because I recently discovered that Lady GaGa is one helluva singer and a talented artist. If you want to see for yourself, check out her song “Speechless”. What I love most about her performance here is that she is so calm and unhurried. Also, in watching some interviews with her, I was surprised by her spiritual streak, her unusual thoughts about rebirth, and actually that she makes intelligent choices about everything that makes her gaga.

I wish I had the intelligence and spunk to embrace my inner gaga, but I suppose I’m in the process of self-acceptance.

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