Today is International Dance Day. To those of you who did not know: my nieces danced their way into our hearts last week with their marvelous Arangetram (Dance performance signaling they are ready for the stage). The pair of them have been dancing for about a decade, and enthralling those around with their nimble movements, naughty smiles and joyous outpouring of dance.
They freely share their gifts of the garb and their dance with those around them: The younger one who even now occasionally cartwheels as she is talking to you, & the older one who lovingly gave us a painting of a dancer for our new home.
Their Arangetram on you-tube has nourished me and fulfilled me in so many ways throughout the week. It has been an interesting week in the corporate world for yours truly, and watching pieces of their performance on you-tube in the morning or in the evening before bed has made all the difference. To the chagrin of the daughter, I have taken to leaping across kitchens with even more energy and dancing at odd hours of the night.
True art transcends time and space. Their performance this week took me back to my school days all those decades ago. Thinking back on our school days, I remember dance being woven into our very being. Our dance teacher remains the sort of creative person who can take up a stage and transform it into the warring fields of the Gods Vs Demons, or the romping gardens through which Lord Krishna traipsed or the love-lorn gardens of any maiden pining for her Lord.
I remember all the rehearsals, watching as a young girl, and then being excited to be part of the dance dramas as I grew older. It was beautiful to watch her choreograph, adjust according to our abilities, but pulling us along, and pushing us to excel with every dance.
I remember thinking even as a child who had the immense pleasure of learning from her that being inside her brain must be marvelous: forever creating, forever forging higher connections and all with that wonderful laugh and personality.
I was itching one evening on a linear walk to dance – the rain had stopped, the sun was breaking through the clouds and a brilliant rainbow was in the making, and a moment like that makes your very Being yearn to dance. Why could we not transform into peacocks at will? Then, no one would scurry away looking worried when one breaks out into a spontaneous dance on the trail. Children prance when they feel like it, adults do not. Children cartwheel as they talk to you on the video call, we do not. This growing up business is all most confusing.
Why do we not dance more as a species? Together – all of us regardless of ability, age, sex. Dance and music are the yearnings of the universe in us after all.
Reminds me of this beautiful book on dancing I found a few weeks ago at the library: I Will Dance. Written by Nancy Bo Flood and illustrated by Julianna Swaney, this book is a beautiful reminder of why we all need dance in our lives.
Quote from the Book’s About page:
Like many young girls, Eva longs to dance. But unlike many would-be dancers, Eva has cerebral palsy. She doesn’t know what dance looks like for someone who uses a wheelchair. Then Eva learns of a place that has created a class for dancers of all abilities.I Will Dance – By Nancy Bo Flood, Illustrated by Julianna Swaney
Dance enables the soaring of the spirit, to unleash the inner peacock in us whether we are peacocks or not.