This past month I have been secretly pulling some ideas together; experimenting with traditional sounds, classical musical arrangements, varying rhythms…and finding pieces that my body is comfortable with, that flows well but awakes me and transforms me. I’ve wondered time and again do I do this for spiritual attainment?, to lose myself and escape? to explore a medium of expression? for dramatic peaks and humour? for technique and stamina? for art and the experiment? for fun, for laughter, for love, for passion, for art, for drama, for discipline, for me, for you, for God…….for everything in this world that makes me happy, that makes me willing……to put a show when everyone and no one is watching….
Last year I started a video project called ‘Walking Barefeet‘. It was a collection of footage, of interviews, of diary entries, of my travels in and out of countries. It has been pretty successful. It was my first experiment and I learnt about production and editing, story-telling and filming.
Walking barefeet was intentionally titled. I’ve always been fascinated with atravel style that went beyond pre-determined sights and places laid out in Lonely Planet. I wanted to meet the indigenous and hear from them, listen to them, know from them……after Afghanistan this became so important. So so so important. So barefeet became the word for it; I want to leave my shoes behind. Leave my fear behind. Leave my finance behind. Leave my comforts behind. Leave my safety behind. Leave home behind.
Consciousness is this highly regarded state in meditation and prayer. Similarly, the feet can be conscious…everything it touches, it observes, it feels, all texture and temperature, from the feet it takes it up to the body, the abdomen, the heart, the mind. Being barefoot allows me to feel and to observe the genuine.
We are all dancers, in our hearts we know how to let our body go……But any position,any posture, any twirl or pose is preceded by the feet being in contact with the ground…….then the rest of the body flows to the position before the feet rises, takes flights and land again. Dance and observe, dance and observe. The feet allows the dance a lot of freedom and observation apart from stability and grace.
My feet bears all my exuberance & burden; all my extreme states are borne on these feet. Because all extremities inspire me to dance.
My challenge is to build a dance portfolio of songs/music that represent me, my states or a phase in my life. The dance videos will be taken in different places or different countries and the ambition is to experiment with dance in nature. Two ‘things’ I am allowed to retain if I so choose is one version-type of a dance outfit (as I can only dance with certain types of outfits) and I will have an IPOD tucked into my skirt and plugged into my ears (I need loud music and cannot carry speakers with me). The portfolio will experiment with different ‘states’ of the female, the sensuous, the humourous (or wacky), the drama, the love, the passion, the excitment, the sorrow and the strength. I am also obliged to write a review to explain the dance; so the dance has to have meaning, it has to relate to one of the ‘states’, or a phase in my life or me.
I also have in mind to include others in, in a dance duet. We are all dancers and I know most people can dance. If any is interested, you can even select the song and we can discuss what it means to you and what vision you are going for in your piece. It could be freedom, or strength, or harmony or sensuality. I can then teach you a piece, either through online youtube lessons (but it must be inspired by your vision) or face-t0-face if we’re in the same country (quite unlikely hehe).
(NOTE: If you are offended by dancing for religious or moral reasons, don’t watch.)
The dance below is a rendition of Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya from Mughal-e-azam. It is the dance of the courtesan. In this video, I attempted to pick light and airy bits.
This was a rehearsal in an art studio of a dance I choreographed for my beau. I was very flustered and tired in this piece but I think it added to the dramatic appeal I was going for.