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Absolutely resonate with your thought Arya, that living in the moment is the most important take away – whether art teaches you that or life. My only two cents is – I would not discount the quest to perfecting form in this journey to live in the moment. One need not be a detriment to the other. As long as the quest to achieving perfection is not bringing you down in spirit or emotion, it can be as invigorating as watching birds or sitting by the ocean waves! Everything is a journey – including working on form or movements. Cultivating patience in practice helps stay in the moment. Loved your thoughts on it – do keep writing!
Thank you Lavanya, for your question on the really important topic of striking the feet. The biomechanics of the feet striking the ground involves a different kind of strength, specifically in the hamstring muscles. This strength, referred to as eccentric strength is not something that develops on its own unless you work on it. Landing the feet hard is not necessary in any speed – but you need strength and stability to do this in a manner that looks impactful (with muscle activation). It might take time and practice to achieve this, but it has safeguarded my joints for a very long time! The downside of repetitive striking of the feet could be degenerative wear and tear or even stress fractures. Let’s put the brakes on this as Bharatanatyam dancers as early as possible. And instead work on getting strong enough to execute the striking without landing hard. Another video on this topic on the Inner Circle perhaps?July 25, 2020 at 12:47 pm in reply to: Increasing speed while maintaining grace in your routine #5094
Thank you for your very thoughtful message. If your approach works well for you, you should definitely use it. Breath and movement are intrinsically connected but I am not so sure about processing breath beyond a conscious ‘slowing’ down – the result of a meditative/objective distancing from the physicality of the movement itself. I say this because choreography is complex and may not be manageable in terms of conscious processing of the breath. If you are training for speed in Bharatanatyam, cardiovascular fitness would be a part of it. I find base training and interval training to be best in getting me to my cardiovascular goals. If I am fit to handle the stress of the oxygen demand, my mind is free to relax in the movement. Please do write in with more such inspiring ideas! It might be useful to many on the Inner Circle.June 7, 2020 at 1:20 am in reply to: Increasing speed while maintaining grace in your routine #4803
Certainly Ushma – will put it in my list. Keep writing – it lets the Inner Circle be more relevant to all of you. And that is my purpose for creating this portal.June 6, 2020 at 6:51 am in reply to: Body Shape – does Bharatanatyam make you into a pear?! #4798
Thank you 🙏. One of the pre-requisites of dancing in positions such as the Aramandi, Prenkanam, Swastikam and other non- primal patterns is ensuring your body supports it. I would hesitate, knowing what I know today about the body mechanics in Bharatanatyam to teach a student who has not been in regular practice and willing to even back track at times to unlearn some habits in technique. Purely because the biomechanics of dance can cause a lot of harm to a body that is not primed to take on the challenge. As you rightly say, gaining a desired body shape is an off shoot of that effort to get fitter to dance.