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Contemplations of a dancing mind
- Radhika Prabhu, Bangalore

February 9, 2012

Some questions don't have any answers, and sometimes it so happens that some answers don't have any questions at all. They do not need questions. They are more like realisations, philosophies, simple truths that life sometimes surprisingly reveals to us.

Such a realization hit me hard, in an unexpected moment, and without my knowledge, has opened the doors to deeper, subtler paths of thinking beyond.
It happened as I was happily, nonchalantly, strolling on my terrace during sunset, trying to imprint myself in the memories of the beautiful twilight. It was a realization so simple that though most of us would know it, it would hardly suffice until it is realized in its entirety.

Being a dancer is a thing of great pride for me; but that evening, as I watched Nature dancing to the rhythms of silence, spellbound, it not only made me embrace my passion closer to my soul but also made me realize that dance could exist without us 'dancers'; without being captured in the frames of our body.
Movement - is everywhere.

Even a baby in its mother's womb moves. 'Movement' is the first thing that comes to it, naturally, even before it is physically fully formed.

Everything moves...

The wind sweeps across.
The clouds glide by.
The stars travel.
The sunrays choreograph lovely random patterns on the evening stage of the sky.
Birds fly.
Butterflies prance.
Peacocks dance.
The oceans have their waves with their petulant jumps and cartwheels.
The rivers and lakes have their graceful ripples and swirls.
Trees sway.
Leaves tremble and shiver.
Flowers swing on the branches.
Raindrops create their own tap music.
And so are all our minds in constant movement.
Thoughts enter and exit.
Heartbeats have their 'adi talas.'
Eyes have their own expressions.
Breaths are always in a trance, dancing to the beats of an inner energy.
Feelings balance upon the experiences of life.
And life... well, life 'moves' on...

The birth of movement
(Oil on canvas by Radhika Prabhu)

(Digital work)

Well! So much for my pride of being a 'dancer'! If only I could dance like a wave, rising and stretching up to the moon and rolling down on the sea-shell clad sand...
Lao - Tse has said, "Let life be like a dance." A very picturesque statement indeed, but the more I tried to think about it, the deeper it took me. Why 'dance'? Maybe because dance is 'momentary.' It is in the moment. It is there in our body, yet it is not there. Whether it is a rehearsal or a performance, no one 'movement' done in a particular 'moment' is repeated just as it is, even though the step or the gesture might be the same. Every time we move, every drop of blood is in a different place in our body. Every corner of the mind transforms every single moment. Just like life. No moment can be turned back in time or lived exactly as it is.

Through pains and smiles we go through everything, just as in life 'we' become the dance, moving to the music of feelings and thoughts on this strange stage called life...

And nor are we dancers, after a certain point, even aware of our physical identity. In dance our body becomes our name, our voice; it becomes all 'us.' And then gradually the names of steps start melting away, the barriers of 'style' fade away, and the boundaries between different 'forms' of dance evaporate in the bright light of the unbridled bliss of dancing.

Well! A simple enough thought, yet so profound that I will not be able to look at anything or anyone the same way. Dance is more like a command of Nature, a gift from Nature to herself and her creations. Like mother's blood filling life in her child...

And as Nature filled my mind with this new creative blood, I came back to my room and opened the windows to let the moonlight bow down and seep in through the window panes. It now seemed impossible to escape from 'dance' - anywhere, anytime.

Because I knew that even as I slept and my physical body rested, my dreams would continue the dance - unbridled, unfathomable, like un-choreographed ballets bursting forth and being staged on surrealistic indigo horizons...

Radhika Prabhu is a dancer/choreographer, painter (Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts specializing in painting from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat), and a published poet based in Bangalore. She has trained in Bharatanatyam from Gurus Shubha Dhananjay and Kiran Subramanyam. She is also training in Kathak, Contemporary, and Ballet (Yana Lewis).


The "subtler paths of thinking beyond" imply not merely observing Nature and getting the inspiration from it. As long as the "thoughts enter and exit" again and again, the artiste remains a slave of her personal imagination. The true inspiration comes from the invisible worlds beyond the material world or personal imaginations. To discover those mystic rhythms, falling asleep while listening to rain drops is not the way.
- Anonymous (Feb 22, 2012)

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