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Demonstration at BHARATIYA VIDYA BHAVAN, London


November 7 and 8, 2009 London
EXPLORING THE SACRED

Anita Ratnam shared her journey through ritual, sound and gesture
A Neo Bharatam dance workshop session
BHARATIYA VIDYA BHAVAN, 4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE
e-mail: info@bhavan.net / Telephone: +44 (0)20 7381 3086

Participants speak:

It was indeed an enriching experience for all, no matter at which level you are. Everybody takes in different aspects according to their capacity and experience. It was nice to know about your choreographic process and how it leads to the final piece. The improvisation on the first day certainly gave students a sense of creation and I think such workshops help in retaining their interest and also achieve higher level excellence. I understand two sessions is a very short span but well enough to instigate the thought process.
- Juee Deogaokar, student at City University, London



As a participant in the two day workshop conducted by Anita Ratnam at the Bhavans centre, London, I would like to share an experience that was truly memorable.

We were all asked to improvise four short movements with the image of the devi symbolised by the image of an arrow, having the attributes sharp, fast strong and focused. Each dancer in the room, regardless of age and seniority came up with interpretative movement drawing from their dance vocabularies. We were then asked to perform these in various permutations and combinations, in pairs and trios, varying speed and direction, improvising as we went along. Soon the whole room was full of dancers of absolutely diverse backgrounds and experience all seeking to embody the devi. Immersed in this creative pool and surrendering to as well as drawing from the collective energy of dancers who had been no more than strangers minutes ago reinforced in me the idea of dance being such a powerful medium that within minutes transforms a space and individuals within that space, a medium that not only liberates but unites. This was just one of the many similar exercises that followed over two days.

I believe that it is workshops like these that sow the seed of questioning one's choreographic process and challenging one's own zones of comfort to rediscover a movement, either within or outside the parameters of an inherited dance vocabulary. I would like to thank Anita Ratnam for an enriching and wonderful experience.
- Sanjukta Wagh






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