Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Fine Line Between Inspiration and Deflation

I just watched the brilliant James Cousins Dance Company and I have no words to express how spectacular the entire production was. It is very hard to catch a good dance show, not just in KL, but anywhere in the world, even more so when it comes to contemporary dance because it is so subjective and sometimes a little too narcissistic for my liking.

This show was a dance show. The dancers danced, every movement, every breath, every light and sound cue was deliberate. Deliberate is my favourite element when it comes to watching a production. No waste of time or space, every thing has been edited and snipped to create a crisp, unfaltering work of art.

As I usually do after every great performance, I slump back in my seat. Absorbing everything that I had just witnessed and feel completely exhilarated. But then almost immediately I feel as if the wind has been knocked out of me, like someone has stood behind me, kneeing me behind my knees and I buckle. I feel completely deflated.

Why? Because I feel like I will never be able to dance like that. I feel like I will never be able to create something like that. I feel like I will never be able to work with someone like that.

Do you find yourself feeling this way after a magical night? I don't know why I allow myself to feel such defeat. I can dance, I can dance a dance form that not many people can actually do.

I've always been this way. Every time I watch a ballet, I leave wishing I was a ballerina. Every time I watch a beautiful acoustic concert, I leave wishing I could sing. I need to start being more grateful.

I have been invited to perform a solo piece during this year's Odissi International in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, the land of Odissi, and it will be the first time I will dance alone and also the first time since the cubs were born.

I will take what I have experienced this afternoon and make something positive out of it. After all, a good performer makes your forget time and place and takes you along on their journey with them. I hope I will be able to do that this December.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Interview with Global Rasika

I've turned down many interviews because I haven't really been dancing. The last proper performance I had was right after I got married in 2010. So I feel that I shouldn't be talking so much because I have nothing to show for it.

But of late, I've been doing a little dancing in my basement, while the kids are asleep, I've started going for yoga again and am slowly trying to incorporate dance back into my life. It is difficult but it isn't impossible. 

The kids are slightly more manageable and dance seems to be calling me back. It's funny how the universe works. It has been very disheartening whenever people come up to you and ask if you're still dancing and you can only shake your head and say no. But as I always say, there is a right time for everything and I think the time is now.

I recently had a wonderful chat with Global Rasika editor, Sonali Mishra, about Odissi, the Indian Classical Dance style that I do. Here is the screenshot of the interview...if you'd like to read the enitre write-up please click here.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Mommy Day

I spent the day shopping, came home to feed the bubs and get them ready for bed and headed to KL Performing Arts Centre to watch Sutra Dance Theatre's production of Krishna - Love Reinvented. You see...after meeting my husband I've never been to a performance alone so tonight was a real treat because I love watching things alone. Not being selfish or anything but I love losing myself in the production, the lights, the energy, the show. Sorry, I don't mean to sound like a snob but I grew up watching all sorts of performances so I know what I like and what I don't like. Usually when I like something I end up crying. Stop rolling your eyes!

So...tonight's production was extra sentimental to me because it was my very first full on Sutra production where I played a kinda big deal role, I was one of the 4 Gopis. Gopis are milkmaids, young girls who are always pining and get really turned on when they hear Krishna's flute. I've just set a million pun traps but I'm going to move swiftly along.

Needless to say, the final announcement was read, the lights dimmed and the sitar strummed thrice. The flute started and I burst into tears...I could blame it all on PMS but I know deep inside that it was my 'angin'. No, not my gas you crude people! Angin, as Ramli calls it, is your inherent calling, your passion, your curse! It's basically what you were put on this earth to do. It's been so long since I danced that my muse had fallen asleep. I was told that she leaves you once you cease your art but I now know that something you are born with can never leave you.

I used to say that Odissi flowed through my veins, unarrogantly, of course. (Yes, I know it isn't a word!) But tonight I know it really does. When I cried throughout Mangala Caranam, I had to hide half my face just so that the people next to me didn't think I was crazy, I knew that it was time for me to return to the stage. Someone asked me at intermission what I had thought about the show so far and all I said was that I didn't see anything. Once the music started I was lost and everything after that was a blur. I didn't see anything on stage, the pangs in my heart hurt so bad and I could not breathe. Odissi music is so mellifluous and the velvety strains of Palit were intoxicating.

I also know how annoying it must have felt to sit next to me because my feet was tapping to all the beats because I did remember all the steps. I was brought back to the dance studio where I had spent all of my time when I wasn't in school. I remember feeling so privileged to be dancing alongside dancers that I had grown up watching as an 8 year old. I remember receiving my first review from Wilson Henry stating that I was the next one to look out for.

After coming back from Seoul in 2009 I could've easily joined the troupe and continued what I did but I knew deep inside of me that I wanted babies. Even Ramli said over lunch one day that I should just get it over and done with and now that I have my babies, this show was the catalyst I needed to rekindle that flame of passion I have with Odissi.

Like they say...anyone can dance but not everyone is a dancer...