Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Base Notes by Shanta Serbjeet Singh - Parkaya’s 3rd edition marks coming of age of the ‘thinking’ dancer

This title, suggesting the coming of age of the thinking dancer, is not meant to infer that the  majority of them don’t think.  In fact, even for a visceral, body-centric art like dance, the cerebral content has always been amply evident in the careers of most good dancers, not  to mention great dancers like Balasaraswati, Birju Maharaj, Kalanidhi Narayanan, Padma Subrahmanyam, Rohini Bhate, to mention only a few.  What I am saying is that perhaps this itself, a new emphasis on thinking about dance rather than just dance, is a marker of our times.  Also, that this process has shown a discernible, steady and upward growth, specially in the first decade of  the twenty-first century.
Dancers have realised that to compete with or rather stay on the same course in attention grabbing as some of the other Arts, such as the visual arts, they too must create an image that reflects their personality and their artistic vision. They have long known that classical dance has the substance and possibility to go beyond the mechanical, ‘by rote’ kind of movement.  They have now understood that, however perfectly done, 21st century dance without evidence of the thinking cells and the ‘conscious’ sinews, will steadily be at a discount and unable to attain the gravitas that distinguishes the great from the good.  Even when the well-trained dancer wins ecstatic exclamations of approval, the knowledgeable sit up only when they find evidence of a larger, personal vision, of an artiste who knows that behind those perfectly aligned karanas and taut adavus there has to be another awareness, an intuitive knowledge that the physicality of the body must be in perfect sync with a planned, structured, deeply thought-out, personal style and ‘look.’  

Read the review in the site

1 comment:

  1. A fantastic article detailing the fine lines and tapestry of thought in 'Parakaya'. I am awed at the thought process that went into the process of building the imagery. I hope this production comes to Mumbai. Thank you, Shanthaji. Love your writing as always!