With Rabindranath Tagore awsome encouragement to revive the cultural aspects of India, the art of Sadir or Sadiatam (today known as bharatnayam dance) and the art of Kathakali (music and drama) were estabilished with more prestige and underwent significnt development. It is no surprise that these arts grew, in the South of india, under the influence and the presence of ancient civilazations such as Greece, Rome, Egypt and Syria. the artists at that time used to performe everywhere without need for a stage. Any outdoor setting would have been perfect as far as there were some people rady to watch them. And this is exactly what I have been experienced last weekend in this Chinese hub of stock market & cutures. isnt it unbelievable? i still get goose bumps if i go back to those moments on Sunday.
i was lucky to the extent to performe Indian dance two meters from the crowd, on rugs placed directly on concrete floor, with genuine Indian instruments and curtains as background just like in the ancient times but in a hyper modern city like Hong Kong is. it was too much of a blast! I wish all passionate dancers to get this marvelous and full of meaning experience. A meaning going straight to the root of the heart. the focus is different: when the heart is dancing, you are jumping in the flow and everything is still and perfect.
Tonight we had our usual dancing class in Soho, in a new stage center of a very exclusive and stylish club house. This part of the city is a real meltin pot of modern and old, trendy and old fashioned, hills and plane roads, plenty of narrow streets which i had to cross before reaching the MTR=underground train on the main street “at the feet of the mount”.
this one was the starting point, the gallery of Mr. Tagore the grandson of the most legendary and auspicious Nobel of India. Work in progress inside, it was close and they are installing a new exhibition.
Soho is always busy and crowded and at night time it represents the drink/chat place for many people workin and living in the dowtown. However some streets are very quite and almost deserted with just one shop still shining.
We ‘ll look up so many interesting details and neon lights, fashionable items and cute little shops for foodies, lifestyle, wellness and beauty. A collection of colors and ideas
Somebody is still working on the street….and somebody is still shopping at almost midnite (…i got a beautiful “casacca” with geometrical designs). one of the best fun for me is bargaining in Chinese with these local folks: sometimes running into a sweet uncle or a screamy auntie, sometimes into a young girl. i always wish that these people will go to the foundation of the economy in their own country and at the most important meaning for exchanging goods.
Late at night you can meet the usual auntie who cleans up all the road of its cartoons, pack and pile them up diligently and carry them to some receptacle-place. Or simply she cleanse the city of the daily wasted plastic bags. She is the one who knows Mother earth problems and tribulations better than anybody else and better than any philosopher and wiseman.
Finally you can also get a floreal taxi to the MTR if you dont want to walk anymore. The driver can be a close relative of the auntie above. He very possibly enjoys drinking and smoking with his friends if not on due and very possibly does care very little in his central nervous sytem about the cycles and messages of Mother earth. But he knows how to drive well in the city jungle and will bring you to destination.
No surprise anymore about the fact that everybody now is moving towards the searching of the self. After thousands and thousand of years that hundreds and hundreds, if not millions or billions (how many hidden people we do not and we will never know?), of people covered this topic in all kinds of fields, now it would seem sometimes even redundant to face the topic. But here we are again, we are going to offer a beautiful fusion to the audience in Hong Kong on the 20th and 21st of this month, with the arrival of Springtime!
It is possible that until now no other artcompany thought to work on this unique kind of blend in town where indian live music, Tagore poetry, bharatnatyam steps and contemporary dance will fuse themelves on stage for an hour time.
If you live in Hong Kong try not to miss it, it’s going to be quite a mind blowing event.
Scattered pills reported from backstage directly from a dancer participant:
a) on a subtle point of view it shows an interesting form of collaboration between Kazakistan and Vancouver. It also includes artists from India, Pakistan, Italy, England, Hong Kong. Moreover, women from different cultural backgrounds and experiences have the ability to work out beauty and understanding more easily.
b) it is really magical to notice how human beings involved in artistic creations about self discovery realize having an attention double times focused towards witnessing the blossoming and the refining of their own character and personality.
c) people in general here in town are becoming artistically more sensitive and mature, hence showing their desire to treat the audience with fascinating ideas and interesting designs.
d) nirmal yoga, spending time in sahaja yoga dimension, is becoming truly essential for that performer who want to enjoy the development of his efforts and perform at good vibrant levels. this yoga will give the performer the adeguate skills and strategy to avoid stressful routine and unuseful thoughts which could lower the capacity to perceive pure joy during the all process of reharsing and dancing.
From the base of the spinal chord to the top of the head, let me tell you how bharat natyam dance does work out things for the one who practices.
The main position of the legs is that they have to be open with knees facing towards the outside: it is an initial position to understand the direction of the legs, between them an empty space of the shape of a diamond is formed. Why is this position good for the bottom of the spinal chord and all the pelvic area? Because it simply opens it up in a firm and controlled way. The hips infact do not move. This lower part is one block. The more this area, called mooladhara in sanskrit, does open the more fragrance of wisdom and joy will emerge into the personality of the student expressing thru the attitude and the shining eyes. This is a very basic principle of ayurveda and also sahaja yoga, the most modern/ancient yoga which is inspiring thousands of people in all different aspects of their life around the world.
Second let’s jump directly to the top of the head. Because there is a strong connection between mooladhara and sahasrara (top of the brain). The more the mooladhara is fixed and established in its own position the better it is for the inner energy (biologically located on it) to rise and reach the head influencing the activity of all the neurons. Now it comes the best part.
My teacher from Kazakistan says “dont think”. Meaning the more you think about the position and the step you want to achieve the worst it is because you’ll get stuck into the thinking and you will loose all the magic of the dance. Therefore this form of classical dance is a perfect catalizer to meditate and be in a thoughtless state of awareness. This dance cannot be learned by memorizing the steps in my experience. The more one try to make effort by memory the more will be disappointed and unhappy with the learning. This is purely a dance of thoughtless state of the person where she just enjoyes and becomes the joy itself duringthe practice. Next part will tell more about other many aspects of studying bharat natyam.
Which I wanted to briefly recollect here based on two trips, one in India and one not far from home in Hong Kong. These are the epidemy we love to hear arent they? These artistical injecton of bubbling lovely effort to raise our awareness and our energy levels. To push them higher towards humble and generous goals. To make them touch the souls of all the people around ourselves so that at least they can get a soft glimpse of ho wparadise laws work out. They work out thru love and compassion, thru dance and action.
You know how much i love dancing already. My mom used to tell me all the times when i was about 7: “daughter i am sorry you were born in Italy cause if you were living in Russia now i would have enrolled you right away in a dance school to work out your talent better”. Never mind i took other paths but dance is always in my heart. In the next post i want you to sniff two secrets of one kind of the indian classical dance which i am studying now. stay alert and move your body on the notes&sounds of heaven.
acrylic painting on canvas with use of: semiprecious stones, waterpearls, silk, glitter, paper flowers, cinilla threads – art by radha with fantasy
It was painted during the Holi festival time in March before going to India. My mood was very much already “into colors and powders”, so I wanted to reproduce the festive atmosphere I was going to live with my sisters in few weeks. But my sisters are of a special kind, their skin is quite a magic and can be of any nuance of color. Moreover their eyes are peaceful and meditative, their hair long and shining. They are very close to the angel species if I am allowed to say that. They look like they are floating but probably they are just dancing…This is what I wanted to express in this surreal artwork.
Also twin sisters: there are so many things, traditions, mentality, ideas, visions, economy, fashion which are shared by these two countries. Watching at these three girls of a musical trio from Sichuan (the department stuck to the east border of Tibet) I cannot avoid to think about Indian movies from Bollywood, the lovely ornaments and long womanly dresses of the Home of spirituality.
India & China share a history of spirituality and character from milleniums. It is not a case they are linked by the Himalayas, which is Home to Shiva and the Shakti Parvati who reside in our hearts in form of pure spirit and pure personality. We have just started to notice these relationships between countries just now that everybody talk about globalization and things like these. The most wonderful discoveries about “twins” countries still has to come and they reside in the manifested desire of each population to understand the subtle nature of their roots and traditions.
I hope the genuine desire of the humans to grow into their most ancient and valuable traditions will awaken each nanosecond more. For India and China (but also for all the other big and small nations)I wish in this New Lunar Year that:
I only prayed for these four wishes. There are more but these are among the most urgent ones.
Happy Lunar New Year to you who are reading too. May you grow in a total collective atmosphere all your life.
This last two months I have been busy at work rehearsing the musical which with my colleagues we are going to present during the Annual dinner. It is a famous American musical that we adapted in a bilingual version (English and Chinese-Cantonese) with the guide/direction of a producer from TVB and a dancing teacher.
When it came to discuss the costumes, we tried on some that looked all right but the producer did not seem really satisfied with them. The day after he came back with some sketches of each one of the characters and I noticed that I was the only character he draw with a long princess dress. Also he told that it would be really beautiful and original to dress all the girls up in punjabi which is the common Indian (but also traditional Chinese) female outfit. Let’s see which will be the final decision!
Since I was 6 the family always encouraged me to dance and with this form of art it was “love at first try” from the beginning. I performed for the first time at the age of nine, when in Italy, in a wonderful musical titled “The creation of the universe” which attracted thousands of people in my hometown. I don’t know how to explain but for me dancing it’s felt like such a powerful activity which makes me completely thoughtless and free inside. I naturally feel comfortable when joining a circle of dance or on stage with others.
Why an India connection? This, I understood it three weeks ago when in India was joining a special collective Event which I will tell in another post. I was in Mumbai for the recent Xmas holiday. When I came back to Hong Kong, they asked me what did u do then? And I realized that “I just danced”, all the time, morning and evening and night:
Cut me off the food
the sitting meditation
…but let me live my dance
express my self with beautiful and decorated movements of the body
feel the singing of the angels in my heart
and be connected to the paradise of the universe
where its party all the time
the colors are festive
the people are brilliant
the dance is grateful
the time is infinite
the love is expanded
the smiles are eternal