#DIAP14: Days 2 & 3: 8th and 9th June
This year, the third international edition of Dance India takes place in Singapore, presented by Milapfest’s Singapore partners Apsaras Arts, with Esplanade and supported by National Arts Council Singapore. A new #DIAP14 series of articles on the Milapfest blog will tell some of the stories of this Asia Pacific edition of our international school.
Warm up on Sunday is taken by Sheejith Krishna, and the participants already began to feel the physical toll of an intensive day of dancing on the first day. With the oppressive heat and sunshine in Singapore, hydration was a priority for everyone, and the endless packets of “3 in 1” tea and coffee and biscuits provided by our hosts helped to get our dancers through the day.
After yesterday’s example on dealing with young children and total beginners to Indian dance, the Teacher’s Training course moved on to learn aspects of tala, to help understand how to help intermediate students learn in Bharatnatyam. In Bharatnatyam advanced, Lakshmi Vishwanathan’s students, sang and understood the lyrics to their music, to help to really interpret the abhinaya and emotions of their art. With intense sessions in Bharatnatyam Intermediate, Kathak and Odissi too, the workshops that ended the day were on Music Composition for Dance, by Aravinth Kumarasamy, and then a continuation of the fascinating and challenging series on rhythm by Sheejith Krishna.
The intense physical and mental challenge of Dance India is at first a culture shock for many of our participants, and in a familiar pattern at Dance India, after two days the rhythm and pace of the day becomes more bearable, though dancing in burning heat and humidity is always difficult! After a morning session by Gauri Diwakar, and core training for everyone, our new workshop on Day 3 is on Choreography, by Madhavi Mudgal, in which she discusses video clips of beautiful group Odissi productions, and her influences, process of choreography and inspirations, including a work created with Mythili Prakash, which Mythili performs live, in one of those unique interactions that characterize Dance India A highlight of the day is the arrival of Sri V P Dhananjayan, and his reunion with Dance India creates a ripple of excitement amongst the participants of the school. One of the most fascinating aspects of the school is the presence of our tutors in each other’s sessions, leading to several impromptu discussions, interjections and sharing, which helps to bring together a common understanding of Indian dance.
In the evening, we transfer Dance India to the Asian Civilisation Museum, to enjoy a new collaboration with them and the Indian Heritage Centre. We celebrate the launch of the new book “Power of the Female: Devangana Sculpture in Hindu Temple Architecture” by Dr Gauri Krishnan. After this a lively and fascinating discussion takes place on “The Spectator in the Evolution of Indian Classical Dance”, during which The Dhananjayans, Lakshmi Viswanathan, Madhavi Mudgal, GT Mani and Audrey Perera share their opinions and insight into issues on audiences, appreciation and understanding in Indian Classical dance.