DIAP Day 2 – Interactions & Analysis

Sometimes it seems impossible to put into words exactly what is happening in any one day at Dance India. More than a list of learning objectives that could be reported, Dance India is full of stories of overcoming challenges, inspiration from teachers, and even more so, stories of fascinating aspects of Indian arts, culture and mythology, learned in each and every session during the school. I sit here in the final session of the day, listening to Dr Gowri Ramnayaran passionately sharing knowledge and experience of her life as a theatre director and scriptwriter, and Anjana Anand playing a role to bring alive the examples in the lecture. There is a great spirit of giving and sharing amongst the DI Faculty, and lessons, information and personal experiences have been shared generously throughout. Already in the first two days this come across through lessons which run into lunch breaks (and DI participants happy to delay lunch!), in discussions and interactions between the faculty, and great attention to detail in lectures and demonstrations.

A cooling rain came down on Singapore as we opened Dance India Asia Pacific Day 2 at The Goodman Arts Centre. As participants and the teachers have remarked almost every year, it is really the second day when they begin to find their pace, stamina and come to terms with the intensive schedule of core training. lecture demonstrations and talks, in humid warm conditions. In the morning, Core Training by Priyadarsini Govind and Sheejith Krishna continued. This year, both Intermediate and Advanced Clasess are benefiting from spending equal time from tutors. Over a delicious Chinese lunch, we screened part 2 of the film

In the afternoon, a series of three lectures  began for core participants, and registered ticket holders who attend one-off or a series of the lectures, performances and fringe events.

First, Priyadarsini Govind gave a memorable talk on herThe Craft of Abhinaya, in which her own expertise and thinking on the subject, and beautifully demonstrated some crucial elements of Abhinaya in two short performances. After this, Sheejith Krithna spoke of the Art of Nattuvanga and Laya, speaking of rhythm patterns and the effect of different practice. In one of those fortunate interactions in the school, Anjana Anand danced to Sheejith’s Nattuvangam to illustrate various points of the lecture. Questions covered areas such as Manodharma and improvisation, but discussions continued well into the tea break.

At the end of the day, Dr Gowri Ramnarayan told stories, experiences, and gave our participants essential advice, on the conceptualising of dance theatre productions.

This day at Dance India really symbolised the depth and breadth of knowledge and inspiration that Indian classical dance gives anyone who cares to notice . We learned today of sculpture, painting, rhythm, mythology, emotions, physicality and theatre, to name just a few. The knowledge and information brought by our faculty members is staggering. What we get in just a few days from them at Dance India is considerable, but just a drop in the vast ocean of Indian arts.

 The fourth Dance India Asia Pacific is taking place in Singapore from Saturday 6th June – Friday 12th June, presented by Apsaras Arts in collaboration with Milapfest and Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. Milapfest’s Head of Dance Development, Archana Shastri, and Artistic Director, Alok Nayak, are reporting from Singapore.

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