You know, these days when I dance with The Mayapuris, there is less drama going on in my mind. Yes, I am a very hard critic on myself, and I have my usual ups and downs. But you know what, I’ve become so used to myself that it doesn’t throw me off balance like it used to. Sign of maturity? Spiritual development? :p
Today we danced at a Unity church in Miami. Here are two clips:
With Vish in a park. A new bhol we’re “working” on…
I recently met Caroline Kay, a Bharata Natyam dancer from the Bala Saraswathi lineage but who also met Rukmini Devi, the founder of Kalakshetra and a dance-pioneer. We had a lovely exchange about Bharata Natyam and its spiritual depth. As part of our exchange she lent me a book about Rukmini Devi. In looking through the book and its photos, I was struck by Rukmini Devi’s serenity and gravity. In most photos she is serious, her smiles are rare and withheld. This was a nice discovery for me, who has often heard the admonishment to “smile!”
(all photos by
Bharatanatyam : Art or Commodity ? by Ayesha Minhaz
Personally I don’t think it’s an either/or scenario; Bharata Natyam continues to be an Art while also bearing the weight of its commercial growth. Still, Minhaz touching on something important worth pondering, how a once sacred exclusive art-form has transformed into something else, a stamp of Authentic India or Spirituality perhaps?
Heavy-hearted. Mental. Absorbed in my thoughts. The sun is shining but not on me. I walk under a tree. I wish I could stay here. I can’t be flaky, bail out, just because of my mood, my mind. But what do I have right now to give? My sadness, these questions, a heaviness?
It’s not about me.
This moment in time is bigger than me and my personal woes. I feel hopeful. I trust this. My darkness is far away. The poetry flows through me. My energy is united with all of you. Together we are relishing the depth of something I myself don’t yet understand. But I feel it. I think you do too.
Free. Light-hearted. Thought-less. A new me. What was that thing that disturbed me so? Well, don’t knock on that door. It’s closed now. I don’t even know where the path to that pain is right now. Touched by the sweet poetry of Govinda Das. Kamala dala jala – jivana tala mala. Life is like a restless drop of water on the leaf of lotus. Vish’s voice and words. The uplifting mood of the drum, flute, kartals, voices, dance. And best of all, it’s not about me. I’m free. The sun is shining. On me. On everybody.
Omega Institute, Upstate New York
Ecstatic Chant Weekend