Monday 27 February 2012

Interview - Gitanjali Kolanad’s Sleeping with Movie Stars - Isabel Putinja

The title promises to titillate. And it does. But this collection of nine short stories by Gitanjali Kolanad is not only about a young woman’s coming of age but also a candid glimpse into the world of a dancer. The stories are based on her experiences living in the Madras of the 1970s where she studied Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra, and later during the 1980s when she returned to India as a mother and settled in Delhi.

The first-person narrative is candid and personal, daring and bold, which makes Sleeping with Movie Stars a refreshing and often amusing read. The theme which runs throughout the book is one of self-exploration. A young woman is sent to India by her parents, who hope that such a drastic move will cure her rebellious streak. This is where her artistic journey and voyage of discovery begins. It is in India that she discovers her artistic calling. She readily embraces her new world and all it has to offer. She dares to test limits and move beyond boundaries. She is also forced to examine her cultural identity in a place where she is both an insider, through her Indian heritage, and an outsider – because she was born and brought up in Canada.

1 comment:

  1. Kalakshetra remains the same. I don’t think the teachers - who are often just a few years older than their "students" - really know what they are doing. "The Kalakshetra style came about through a number of misunderstandings", and this distorted patchwork is obvious. But nowadays most freshers who join have already grown up in some dance style and got the form into their body and really understood it. After Kalakshetra, where they don’t really grow, they are forced into a certain aesthetic that doesn’t really work because this "aesthetic" is a foreign mould that clashes with what they had been moulded into from their early childhood.