Sunday, May 17, 2009
Usually, I have my laptop connected, switched on and logged in throughout the weekend. There are several reasons for this. For one, my offshore counterparts
in Chennai are working on Fridays and might send me mails or need me for some clarifications over Gtalk. For another, I can chat with friends, read blogs and
I have something to do when the TV is conquered by the hubby watching cricket.
This weekend, I did not even take the laptop out of the bag. I did not have time!
I was attending a dance workshop on Friday and Saturday and I literally feel overhauled! I felt all my spare parts coming off but the whole experience has
left me energized and maybe I have some extra years added to my life.
For the uninitiated, the students of dance often have workshops and lecdems (lecture demonstrations). A lecdem is where a senior artiste (along with his/her students) gives a lecture with demonstrations on some topic related to dance. The participants just listen. A workshop is where each person attending also participates. Usually, a complete new 'item' is taught during the workshop and the Audio CD, Video CD and written material is shared with the participants.
This workshop was conducted by the UAE chapter of ABHAI(Association of Bharatanatyam artists of India). While ABHAI has been active for more than a year now in Dubai, this was their debut workshop. And as a participant, I must say that it was a great success.
It was a small scale one as the organizers did not know how good the response would be. We had 15 participants which they felt was pretty good for a debut workshop. It was a good mix of teachers and senior students. The workshop was from 3 to 5 pm on Friday and Saturday.
The workshop was conducted by Ms. Anjana Ganesh, one of the popular Bharatnatyam teachers in Dubai who is herself the student of Sri. Narasimhachari and Smt.Vasanthalakshmi. She taught us a 'padam' composed by Sri. Madurai R Muralidharan for which she herself had done the choreography.
A padam is a short and lyrical item in bharatnatyam. The essence of a padam is usually sringara (romance) or bhakti (devotion). This one was a devotional peice about Lord Ganesha - Omkara Vadivam. It is a beautiful composition. The choreography was neither too complicated nor too simple. It was easy to learn but really fast with complex rhythm patterns and footwork which meant that you can perfect it only with practice.
It was a complete item starting with a virutham (a slow verse sung in praise of the Lord),followed by pallavi, anupallavi and charanam.Both anupallavi and charanam ended with a swaram. We had to learn the whole thing in the 4 hours.
It was fun to learn in such a group - new people with different backgrounds, styles and teachers.It was challenging to learn quickly. It was enriching to add a new beautiful item to our repository.
At the end of the second day, we were given the audio CD. At the end of the second day, we were given written material and also a certificate of participation.
Regarding the video CD which we were to be given to enable us to refer later, the organizers had this bright idea. They decided that they will make the participants perform and record. So they took the video in 3 parts with 3 sets of people. They will be sending us the video for our future reference.
Performing for the video was the most challenging part. Though none of us had it perfect and all of us made mistakes, we still managed.
It also made me realize that I had lot of parts on my body that I never knew existed before. Thank God for my very own personal masseur at home ;-D