About Me

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Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam dancer. Happily married to Dileep Kannan. Daughter of Mr. E.M Haridas & Mrs. Girija Haridas. Daughter-in-law of Dr. K. P Kannan & Mrs. Shobhana Kannan

September 3, 2011

Chapter 1: Life, Dance & Me

OM

Angikam Bhuvaman
Yasya Vachikam Sarvavatmayam
Aaharyam Chandrathaaradhi
Thamnuma Saathwikam Shivam         
It is my belief that any form of art is a practice of meditation. Executing one's favourite form of art in which one is talented is one way of reaching, feeling and touching what is beyond. Some may synonymize this as “Divinity”.  There are certain times in life, whether soothing or trying, when you would like to share something extremely intimate with those around you, but which one’s fellow mortals cannot comprehend, and then you turn towards those residing in the heavens for advice, help or maybe just to listen to your innermost thoughts.  At the end of this correspondence (always one-way, surely), you might say - Thank God!, or Oh My God!

For those human beings who believe in a higher power (or powers), the most regular way of communicating with their respective deities (depending on how many deities you subscribe to) is through prayer. For hardworking, career-oriented folks, it’s through their job. That’s maybe why the saying goes; “Work is Worship”. Artists communicate through the talent that is bestowed upon them at birth and/or through the talent acquired from the utmost dedication, perseverance and hard work. Of course, having a brilliant, enlightened and supportive teacher never hurts. Very few people are actually termed as “gifted”, which is truly a great compliment. My father always says that if one does not show dedication or at least interest towards nurturing their 'God-given' gifts or talent at some point of their life, then it is a sin (I know it sounds slightly over-the-top, but still, fathers have their own notions).

Now the part about dance and me. Dance has always been an integral part of my life. From the tender age of five, I put my best foot forward (modestly speaking, of course) into the world of classical dance, which then became a lifelong journey. I commenced dancing by learning Bharatanatyam (the dance form which was kindly shared with the world by the Indian state of Tamil Nadu). Learning Bharatanatyam has continued till this very day. It was after 18 years of studying Bharatanatyam, when I expressed 'no desire at all' to learn Mohiniyattam, that my Guru Smt. Shyamala Surendran literally and irrevocably dragged me into the world of Mohiniyattam, a deed upon which i now look back with immense gratitude and appreciation. Dragged is definitely the right word, as I had been conveniently avoiding learning this art form, thinking (mistakenly, as it turned out) that it would affect my Bharatanatyam, and to be quite honest I also carried at that time a misconception that the pace of Mohiniyattam was dragging & slow. I know I am being tautological but that was my impression of Mohiniyattam at that time. To the Haritha of 2007, Mohiniyattam did not have the exciting and swift movements of Bharatanatyam. Also I thought it would not suit my personality (Can you believe the arrogance?).  Finally due to the sweet perseverance of my Guru, I started learning Mohiniyattam, which opened up an entire new world of dance for me. 


So it is in this backdrop that I have now chosen to write about dance in general & Mohiniyattam in particular, in my own small way. This is my way of paying homage and also apologising for misunderstanding a beautiful, graceful and a completely entrancing form of classical dance - Mohiniyattam.

2 comments:

  1. thank you for this blog, is very interesting. You write opening your mind with the dance. I love dance clasica of india!

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