Dancing Alone

I painted this piece at Singapore East Coast along with a few budding painters, including Mami Ji. Aunty Lalita, a beautiful woman, hosted the event.

I dance alone in my room most of the time. The body and hand frame reflected is often my assuming position, before I start, when I warm up, and during yoga. It is the frame of feminity and grace.

Backdrop is plain and pale, brown – I prefer to dance alone in my room than on the stage. Stage performances are acts – thus more colourful, executed to appease the chanting crowd, usually pre-meditated, designed and rehearsed. Perfected. Lighting, colour, costume, stage direction make the dance as much as technique does. If technique fails, you have the stage disguises (lighting, costume and amplified music) to pull you through. But in my room, far paler and plain in comparison, the dance is all about its technique and expression. The plain and pale brown backdrop represents my room. I did not have the creative strokes to paint an actual room.

Brown dress – Brown is for the petalled-skirt I usually wear for dance, yoga and the few occassions I want to feel pretty for myself. The curvy strokes in the air represents spins and twirls – the climax of all lyrical dances and an art I have not yet mastered. Out of pure fear of failing myself, I refused to paint her twirling. I did not know how to. So she remains stationary in this piece, with random strokes in the air to represent the twirl.

The white blob on the dancer’s head is a flower. I usually tie my hair halfway up with a flower hair-tie, which can normally be seen from my front angle. It is a pinch from Flamenco dancers.

The dancer has no face because she is a different character in each dance; sometimes a courtesan, other times a celebrated woman, a deceived lover or a enlightened creature.

The flaw I made, ( a big one in fact ), is my dance costume never looks like that. I prefer Indian design and colours. I just did not know how to paint it.


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