October 24, 2012

Another extremely discursive reflection on dance


So as a struggling dancer, I should probably keep my acid tongue well-hidden, but I'm still trying to stop feeling goggle-eyed about some recent events. They are discursive; discursive is clearly my new favourite word, after soporific, those epitomising the two things I do well.

  • Please snigger, but I don't get this variety show business. I was recently in conversation with someone who wanted to rope me in to dance Odissi at a university programme. We haggled companionably over the length of the dance. She was a nice, well-meaning person who told me how she learned dance in her youth but found it hard to balance dancing and the rest of her education. What stumps me is how readily she made the assumption that I would travel to another city and bring my costume along to dance in a show without any talk of payment or any compensation just out of overwhelming good feeling. I agreed because I was actually meant to be in that city at the same time for something else, but I was left aghast. Now, as I write this, I realise that it is not uncommon for many of us to travel to other cities to do fifteen minute performances so that we are seen. And this lets us wheedle our way into more fifteen minute performances. Why then, did my conversation with this woman leave me so irked? 
  • Maybe if I stop thinking of performance as an income-generating activity, I'll feel better about the whole business and come to terms with it. What I find hilarious is that I have been covertly offered a bribe to review a dance festival but never to dance in one! I have said this earlier - clearly, they pay the light and sound people, the stage attendants, the hired VIPs, the compere and even the dance critic, but not the dancer.
  • The Orissa government recently brought out a festival schedule where half the dancers who're on the list don't know they're on the list. And those who're not, are grumpy. I can't stop laughing.
Now I'll be a good dancer so that I can awake early enough to salute the sun. That, though, reminds me of the mother of a very famous classical dancer telling me how her daughter could not cope with the stress because she wouldn't take to the bottle (when she didn't awake on time to be interviewed). I don't know why I recall it now, but it was an ah! moment.

When I was 12, I would brush my teeth every night because I wanted to be Miss India. Now, twelve years down, I gnash the aforementioned teeth delightedly and want to be a gossip columnist. Clearly, I am growing sedentary and old.

1 comment:

ADI said...

Money n your best talent.... R two didfrnt thng.... We want money 4r living ,we want more money... 4r better lving.... But we want to shw our only one best talent coz we r livng 4r it..... We want to shw it more... 4r lvng litl more....... N if our talent n the way of getting money..mix their way.... IT MEANS WE R LIVENG OUR LIFE PROPERLY..... IT MEANS YOUR LYF IS THERE....whr YOU WANT TO BE..... :-)