Monday, 26 January 2015

A rhythm in the chaos

Today the girls got introduced to the classical dance form of Tamil Nadu – Bharatnatyam. Having come to Chennai, for an art camp and living at Kalakshetra Foundation only meant that the girls get a taste of this dance form.

Mrs.Priya Murli, with nearly 43 years of experience in this dance form, who now works in the arts and education sector, has obliged us with her time for the next 5 days, where she is going to try and introduce them to the dance but also help them connect it with their daily life and skills.
The discipline that dance brings into an individual’s life is immence. It helps with concentration and building self-confidence. The stance, the movement help in building better posture and presentation of one’s self.  These are traditional forms of education that helped a person not only to grow but also discover life in a more interesting manner, which is somehow lost in our formal education system. That is why even though we are trying to work with these children it is a challenge to make them understand the opportunity of growth that they have through this experience because the schools and our society have inbred into them that only high marks and rote learning can help them succeed in life. It does not matter if you don’t have people skills and social skills.

The 2 hour dance workshop helped in trying to open the girls to the idea of understanding themselves through a fun exercise. Mrs.Priya Murli was truly amazing, making such a difficult art form seem so simple, easy and understandable to all. For the first class where not one of the girls have had any formal training in dance, she appreciated their interest and dedication.  It will be wonderful how this workshop develops.
The excitement of the dance workshop lasted through lunch and post lunch session; where instead of relaxing most of them were trying to practise in their groups.
But, the “groups” became a concern, because somehow the two circles have not been mingling much, any free time, any break, they just go back to each other even though they have been paired. We are not able to figure out why? And we have not been imposing them to work with their partners but this afternoon we had to remind them again about the purpose of this entire camp.
Somehow, we suddenly seemed like running a scout camp making the rules very clear but then sometimes discipline has to be imposed and forced. A lot many faces were not happy about it but life is always not fun and games.

The post lunch session was to bring out the deeper inspiration of the character sketches they girls had made the day before of their partners to be able to find a motif and pattern from it. The purpose was to get them to relate nature to creation, be able to find the simplicity in the all the objects around them through basic shapes they learn in geometry and then to bring out a pattern from their own sketches.  It was an exercise to help them find answers within themselves rather than always seek it outside, and find connection in every story, and relate it to the rhythm and patterns they learnt in their dance, to understand simplicity.
We ended the day once again with a photography session with Kaushik Jay, who reviewed the pictures taken by them through the day helping them move forward towards their picture story.

Once again helping them find a relation and correlation in the pictures clicked, find the method in the madness, the rhythm in the chaos.


  1. Keep up the great work Juhi and team....I love reading your blogs, looking at the photos, seeing the happy faces and sensing the progress! Best wishes from Australia x

  2. Keep up the great work Juhi and team! I love reading the blogs, looking at the photos, seeing the smiles and sensing the progress. Best wishes from Australia x

  3. so true juhi ... we have to work hard on bringing in the transformation of our beliefs >>> i am sure it will happen but slowly .... wonderful approach my dear