Top 11 Scraps of Info About Me

IMAG_0265 (2)

I haven’t really taken the time to get super deep about myself. So far it’s just been dance and I think I should share a tad bit more!  Here are the top 11 random pieces of info on me! Enjoy!
1.I am currently working towards my IB diploma which is rough but pretty fun
2. I am a major Potter fan!
3. I am also a Kathak dancer (Kathak is the north Indian style of classical dance)
4. I taught myself graphology
5. I am in love with paper quilling! However I must admit that I am no master quiller …

20160418_232629     20160419_123120

6. I watch only one TV show : Once Upon a Time
7. I love the rain!
8. I’m really more of a dog person rather than a cat person
9. I like studying Middle Eastern History, especially Iranian history and culture
10. Future aspirations: to double major in the arts and international relations. My dream is to work in foreign policy while keeping up with dance somehow … I don’t have all the details worked out quite yet!
11. I also have a generally quiet personality …

So there you have 11 very personal and meh facts about me! I hope that helps you get to know me better. I would love to hear from you all with any questions or comments you may have. To leave a comment just click on the title of this post and then scroll all the way down until you get to the “Leave a Reply” section which is where you leave your beautiful comments that let me know that you’re there and what you have to say. Also, I would really appreciate it if you followed, liked and shared my blog (It would mean the world to me actually!) And also don’t forget to RSVP here for my dance debut!

Love you guys!

Follow Up: What is an ‘Arangetram?’

The word ‘arangetram’ means ‘ascending the stage.’ Now that you know what Bharatanatyam is (if you don’t I recommend looking at the post below on Bharatnatyam) I’ll discuss what an arangetram is. After about 8 years of training, the dancer goes through an additional year of training which is all about polishing, stamina building and dancing at a higher level. At the end, the dancer performs an ‘arangetram’ which is the dancer’s first solo performance. This showcases seven or eight items and marks the beginning of a dancer’s journey.

All this really means is that you become a real dancer and all your work over years pays off!

The reason I want to get to this stage is that I want to be able to go further with dance later on in life, and one of the best ways to be able to do that is to have all the skills of a real dancer.

Now that you know a little more, this whole ordeal should make a lot more sense.

Please be sure to comment, share, like and follow me and RSVP here for the event! By clicking on the title of my post, you will be able to see the complete post and leave a reply. When you access my blog on a desktop, there’s a tiny blue plus sign on the lower right hand corner which says ‘follow’ – please click on this to support me and receive updates.  (I’m not sure how it works on a smartphone yet!)

I appreciate everyone’s taking out the time to visit my blog. Please stay tuned to learn more about all things me and all things dance!

See you next time!

What is Bharatanatyam?

rk.jpg

So I bet many of you have probably never heard of Bharatanatyam before, or don’t completely understand it. That’s okay. The point of this is to help you see the beauty I see in this form of dance, and hopefully you’ll walk away knowing a little something extra.

I’ll start with the origins.  Bharatanatyam is one of the seven Indian classical dance styles. It has its origins in Tamil Nadu, a part of South India, and is based mostly on the mythology and themes of Hinduism.

There are three parts to any Indian Classical dance: the rhythmic component which is purely dance movements (Nritta), the facial expressions (Nritya), and the combining of both to dramatize the dance and bring characters and stories to life (Natya).

Special features of Bharatanatyam:

  • We do all of our movements in a deep sitting posture called aramandi
  • Our costumes resemble saris but are specialized for dance
  • We do pretty dramatic makeup
  • Our dance is mostly done to Carnatic music
  • There are many different styles of Bharatanatyam (I train in the vazhuvoor style, which is a little bit more relaxed in terms of posture and distinguished by subtle expressions)

The legend behind our dance style is that centuries ago, a Sage called Bharata saw Lord Shiva (God of Dance) dancing and noted down all of his movements. He then began to practice what he saw, and passed the dance down for generations, and it became known as Bharatanatyam, -natyam meaning dance. There are a lot of stories about the beginning of Bharatanatyam, but this is the one I am most familiar with.

In earlier centuries, wealthy families would often consider it their duty to society to give up one of their daughters (usually their last one) to the temple, so that they could be trained in the art. The child would be raised in the temple and be taught this dance form from an early age, and would grow up performing the stories of Hinduism for audiences who came to pray.

Initially, Bharatanatyam was used as temple worship, and was supported by the royal families and devadasi families, who were patrons of music and art. This dance was originally practiced throughout India, but did not really develop in the North as a result of frequent invasions, which left the region with several other forms of dances. Thus, Bharatanatyam fully thrived in the South, until British colonialism, during which a lot of pressure and propaganda created a social stigma around Indian dance, making it seem inferior and decadent. Although Bharatanatyam faded at this time, it was soon revived by a diverse group of people, including Indians of many backgrounds, devadasis, foreigners interested in Indian arts, and others who had learned Bharatanatyam.

And so, after all this effort put by so many to continue our tradition of music and dance, I finally present to you, my Bharatanatyam Arangetram on August 21, 2016! 🙂