Hello again, everyone!
I’ve been on a bit of a writing hiatus (not all writing, just blogging) for the past month or so, and it feels good to get back to my blog and connect with you all again. It’s strange to think of how different fall 2020 feels compared to this time last year. In 2019, I was doing such a crazy assortment of things that now feel like a distant dream – exploring Rajasthan with my friends, impromptu dancing at my friend’s wedding, attending the Pushkar fair, collecting data and working on a new modeling software, writing and publishing articles, taking my cousins on trips in and around Bangalore and Chennai – truly, it is quite the change to be sitting at home with my social interactions occurring through the phone and laptop!
Of course, when the pace of life slows down, one finds ways to fill the void. I feel lucky to have dance and writing as two of my passions, because these activities have kept me sane during 2020. I have managed to keep writing, whether it be blog posts, popular articles, or literature reviews. I have also grown my base in Indian media, which feels incredible because I am very much an amateur and still trying to establish myself in my field. I finally found the time to start my own children’s nature magazine, catered to Indian children. The joy I have gained from this new project is profound, and I can’t wait to build momentum with it.
And of course, dance has saved me from lethargy and highly-probable weight gain (even if I pig out on snacks I manage to lose that tummy fat through rigorous dancing). Performing arts have really thrived despite this new “normal,” and virtual shows have become a routine for me. I love performing, even if I must devise new ways of connecting with my audience. The elements of a live dance show remain, of course – the makeup and dressing up, the panicked last minute safety pin search, the lack of hair nets and bobby pins right when you need them. And the audiences have been so appreciative and supportive!
My dance teacher has curated an amazing variety of performances, both by our troupe and by visiting artists from around the world. This has been a fantastic learning experience for me, and something I cherish. While watching a show on Youtube or Zoom feels strange as compared to the auditorium effect, it is really wonderful to see artists setting up their own homes to serve as stages and delivering top-class performances in unique settings. We have seen Chhau performances from Bengal and Northeast India, Odissi from Odisha, Mohiniyattam from Kerala (and abroad!), and Bharatanatyam performances from around the world. Dance competitions have also become more accessible – I have taken part in competitions and showcases hosted in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, and the United States at different points in this lockdown, all from the comfort of my house! A global pandemic truly brings people together and reduces the barriers between us, in some ways. Shows that might have been inaccessible to a working youngster like myself in the past are now available for my enjoyment night and day!
So amidst the changing weather and the gloom of shorter days, I am managing to find solace in dance, writing, and my amazing support group of friends, family, and colleagues. New projects keep me busy and focused, while experimenting with choreography exerts my creative muscles (and my aching legs and arms!). Truly, this has been a year of adapting and compromising, but maybe there have been some positives through it all…
Here are a few of my recent performances and a few wonderful dance shows curated by my dance teacher that showcase brilliant talent from around the world!
Here are Parts 1 and 2 from the Nabapatra Dance Festival hosted by my dance academy. Do watch and support these talented dancers from around the world: