It’s not easy watching my own dance videos. If I wait a year or two, it makes a huge difference. I have enough distance to see it with less tension and more generosity. In this case, I had the good fortune to have my friend Cherie Sampson, edit three performances into one video, capturing and overlaying, the best moments into the whole. What a gift. Now I look at it and enjoy it even more. My friend Tim Britton, well known Irish musician and sound guy (and player and maker of Ullean pipes) mixed the two tracks. Sheila Chandra and Zakir Hussein do not know they jammed for me. I put all my new favorite moves in with my beloved Kathak moves and combined choreography with improv. I performed this piece in a show put on by Hilary Jordan, contemporary dancer, health practitioner, Druidess – in training, and a good friend. And the pants are made by me own self, even tho my mother said Capricorns can’t sew. So you get the theme, discovering one’s own talents and rediscovering pieces from a while back that are really nice to savor. Enjoy.
Category Archives: Dance
For our annual artwalk dedicated to dance, they asked me to show my range of dance flavors from Kathak to bollywood, both classic and contemporary, but in ONE costume. Okay!
I am still perfecting Maar Daala. I will post the whole thing when I perform it in June at the Fairfest, if it gets videotaped! I decided to dance to the audience clapping so I wouldn’t have to chop up a classical piece of music. I did Gangsta cuz it’s my fave right now. I actually learned the first few seconds of a Calvinography choreo but my video editor chose the part where i improvised ! Believe it or not, what i love about Hip Hop is what I love about classical Indian dance: isolations and fluidity. I think there is a marriage of the two forms brewing in my soul. That’s my goal for this year, to blend a bit of hip hop into Kathak. you’ll see! it will be refined and fresh, i hope!
I discovered accidentally through the opportunities to lead large groups of people that creating follow-along dances is a good way to share the charm of Indian dance, to bring the bliss of dance to people who think they can’t dance and/or to everyone in the audience. It’s a great way “move” people at conferences, retreats, and wherever people have had to sit down for long periods of time. Exercise can be so fun!
I thought it would be fun to compare the Indian film dances of the 1960s with today’s or at least show some of my favorites from 2-3 different eras. Being a Kathak dancer BUT a lover of many styles and a ham and an imitator since childhood, I found in Bollywood a way to do many dances at once.
anyway, more about me later. let’s go to 1960 and see what Madhu Bala dances in Mughal E Azam: a movie based on the true story of Akbar’s son prince Salim and his “nautch girl” love affair – the beautiful Anarkali, who danced in the rich court and won his heart but was deemed not good enough for the prince and sentenced to be buried in a wall.
Here’s her dance of passion and rebellion in front of the King and his son telling them why should one fear love?
this is rough Kathak but she had to learn it for the movie.
Here’s today’s seductive and highly stylized kathak by Rani Mukherjee:
That’s a short treatise on the full range of “filmi” dance.
And now here is a very contemporary song and dance from Bombay Dreams:
AND a super cool choreography to a Slumdog Millionaire song: Gangsta Blues:
My latest classic bollywood dance