For long I have had this peculiar relationship with dance. Peculiar? Well, Let me explain.
I like to read and I also like to write. I like to listen to music and so I also want to learn how to play an instrument. I enjoy good meaningful Cinema and so I have a strong desire to pick up a camera someday. With dance this is different. I love to dance but I hardly feel enthusiastic about watching a dance performance. I never went to any live dance performances even in IIT whereas I always went to all the musical (vocal or instrumental) once. I wonder why?
May be the reason can be as banal as having not been exposed much to this particular art form. But I think there is more to it. The fact of the matter is that whenever I look at somebody dancing, I want to go up and join and dance my heart out. It is not so when reading a book. Though I may get inspired but I do not want to go and start writing. I also do not feel that instant need to go grab a camera while watching a movie. They are all different. There is nothing like dance which invites you to come and join right in without any wait or delay. Singing can come close where often one feels inclined to start humming and singing with the singer (much to the chagrin of fellow humans).
I have had some vague thoughts like this for sometime but it was some days back that they got the nucleus to crystallize on. 29th of last month was World Dance Day. It was started by UNESCO in 198 . The aim was to expose more and more people to this wonderful form of expression. I cannot say that they have been very successful because a generally well aware and interested middle class young boy, that would be me, lived 23 years of his life without coming to know of it. Anyway, they do get credit for initiative at least.
So I was talking about the nucleus. On 29th of April, I read this wonderful article in TOI's (Yes, TOI i.e. Times of India. They still manage to get in some articles worth reading in that tabloid. ) The Speaking Tree. Here is the first paragraph from that article:
Why God Chose to be A Cosmic Dancer
JAYA C MEHTA
[ FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2005 12:59:20 AM ]
When I gave up a promising career as a painter for pursuing classical dance, I was often asked which of the two was more satisfying - painting or dancing. My views on this are best expressed in Osho's words. Osho reflected on why Shiva as Nataraj was the Cosmic Dancer. Why wasn't he a painter, poet or sculptor? When a painter finishes his painting, the painting assumes its own existence. The painter becomes separate from his painting; it has a life of its own. Similarly, the poet is separate from his poetry, the potter from his pottery, the writer from his novel and so on. But with dance, the dancer and the dance are one; they can never be separated. That's why God is a dancer. He dances in his own creation. He is present in the leaves, flowers, rivers, animals and every human being. His dance is all over. He has not created the world, he is the world. The world is God's dance, just like a dancer's body is the canvas into which the dancer pours the colours of her feelings and impressions.
You can read the whole article here.
To me the article makes a lot of sense. And it's such a beautiful thought. Isn't this the reason why dancing is such an expressive way of feeling together? No other activity will makes you feel so close. It's like when your limbs move in unison, when the hands make those perfect sweeping gestures, when the legs decide to follow the beats together, that your hearts also beat in the same rhythm and your souls become one and it doesn't matter what the music is, what the style is.
And when we are really ready, we don't need any music, any beats. We just close our eyes and dance away, to beauty, to love and to life !!