Dance Anecdotes (Pico and Cumbria)

When I was at Pico, I peeked through my binoculars and just sat and watched a fisherman climb from one peak of a jutting rock to another to find a good place for him to fish. In his hands, he held a basket and his line (you can see his picture in my Pico Dolphin album. I find his grace to be quite extraordinary). At that time, I scribbled in my journal at how he is so comfortable with nature, so blended with it that he saunters from one rock to the other without loss of balance. But I had to struggle over these rocks, and I don’t want to. Dancing in nature, and dancing barefeet allows me to understand it, makes me able to trust it. I learn to live with it without struggling against it.

I realised when dancing in and amongst nature that the terrain will not always be smooth and balanced like the floors in my dance rehearsal studio. But there is a way to dance despite it with grace and that comes first through accepting that nature may not always be comfortable. But then nature presents a vast space, a spectacular sight, and a habitat of wildlife to sing with you. Thoreau, my favourite philosopher and idol it was said by Ralph Emerson, knew every track, every bird that sang, every tree in the woods where he spent so much of his time in and with. So he became a natural biologist despite that it was not even his occupation. At Pico Island, I spent an afternoon by the sea close to the vineyards. I had my music (always Hindi’s most poetic pieces) in my ipod, volumed enough to lift my spirit and at the same time hear the waves crashing and the wind blowing. I think in a way, after awhile, when you are so immersed in the act, somehow nature reacts with and to you, sometimes for you (as once, after provoking the ocean with a piece, suddenly I was surprised to find myself drenched, consuming another week’s supply of salt). This time I was really singing to the sea, the sun and the passing shearwater birds, which in spite of my volume and I am sure frightening screams felt quite comfortable with my dishelved presence. This was new to me. I really felt in love with everything that was around me. And the dance of nature was perfectly timed to the beat, the culmination and chorus of my music. I make no exaggeration, sometimes nature failed me (or I failed nature); but for the most part, it was like as if we were all dancing in synchrony. What does it feel to be part of nature and not external to it? I think as a human being, I have become so arrogant to think of myself as separate from it. Even as I describe it, nature seems to be a completely separate world. I did not record much dancing at Pico Island. But in England in order to fulfill my waterfalls/rivers and nature dance project, I performed a few short pieces. I think it takes so much for me to let go of my ego and be less conscious as soon as the camera is switched on. But I did try, considering the time constraints. We drove for miles searching for an accessible place.

As you watch the videos, notice a few things; the green hills behind was really beautiful. This stretches for miles at end, it was so difficult to choose where to dance. You may hear birds singing behind….its beautiful, or the wind blowing….It is quite difficult to balance on uneven ground. This ground was pretty uneven, and I was dancing on little piles of lamb shit and little fern thistles that hurt. But this is it, this is nature. This was what I wanted.


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