April 21, 2019
A room filled with young women and men, dressed in attires most comfortable for them, carrying a subtle smile and a gallon of excitement was what this adavu jamming was all about. The session took place on the 14th of April, hosting a group of dancers from various walks of life to practice the basics of Bharatanatyam. This was a 60 minute session, designed in a manner that focused on the fundamental framework of dance, also referred to as the "Adavu". The adavus were intertwined with music, unconventional rhythmic patterns and interesting games to take away any kind of mundanity. The organizing team 'Yatra' consisted of Sanath Kumar, Archana Raja, Krupaa Lakshmi and Vidya Krishnamoorthy.
The rapid warm up session almost called and stretched every muscle in the body, but regardless of the pain and the stress, one would have heard occasional giggles and ripples of laughter from some corner of the room, for that's how novel the idea of bringing together dancers from diverse backgrounds, styles and experience levels was.
The motive of the session was simple, it was collective action. It is one thing to practice the basics of any art by yourself and a totally different thing to do the same in a group filled with people driven by the same passion. The energy was extremely addictive; it kept pumping happiness throughout the session. There were multiple engaging ways that the team came up with to bring more self-awareness about rhythm, memory, flexibility and creativity. However, the highlight of the entire session lay in the freedom and acceptance that was established in that room.
One could repeatedly hear the team telling the participants to follow their own style, stick with what was comfortable for them and more importantly never interfering with anyone being right or wrong about whatever that was done. The judgment free zone, the doing away with the question of who is better, embracing just the shared love for dance was the most beautiful aspect of this session, because at the end of the day, if one can put "I felt good with what I did" over "I was good at what I did", is some kind of achievement, isn't it? It was truly a simple and thoughtful session that choreographed joy along with dance.
Vasanthi is a writer and Bharatanatyam dancer.