The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Bharatha Natyam

Indian dance for ballet students

In a shocking display of preemptive selfishness, I planned our August random holiday for only five days into the month. Kayla had found out about a workshop teaching a classical dance from the southern part of India, and she was kind enough to let me come along while she checked it out.

Indian dance bells

Bharatha Natyam looked so easy when I watched a youtube video before the class, a bit like a walking version of yoga. Boy was I wrong! Kayla and I were surrounded by a passel of young dancers who had been studying ballet for years, and they had no trouble picking up the steps. But figuring out how to move my feet and my arms and my hands all in sync was vastly beyond my skill level, especially once the teacher went at full speed. The dance was definitely beautiful and fun though!

Bharatha natyam

What I liked most about the class was the realization that the scenes I'd studied in art history class of Indian gods in strange poses involved catching those beings mid-dance. The teacher also opened the class with a simple earth blessing that I want to learn to incorporate into my own cobbled-together spiritual practices...but that will only happen if I can find a video to walk me through the motions on the internet. Drinking from the fire hose, I'm afraid none of the instruction actually stuck to my gut.

Despite my inability to recall the most basic steps, it was still so much fun to go outside my comfort zone and explore new things. I'm looking forward to seeing what Kayla comes up with for us to try next!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I've been a fan of Classical Indian Dance since the 1970s when I was lucky enough to see Uday Shankar's (brother of Ravi) dance troop in concert in New York. Started collecting classical Indian dance music then.

Where was this class??? I know Sullivan Co, TN has a large Indian population.

Comment by NaYan Thu Aug 6 10:05:10 2015
Homesteading and living extreme local doesn't mean putting one's head in the sand and having no interest in the wider world! What a wonderful bit of experiential global culture.
Comment by Charity Thu Aug 6 11:44:10 2015

NaYan --- It was part of the Virginia Highlands Festival and the troupe was from Roanoke. So, a one-time event, unfortunately.

Charity --- It's definitely good to expand my horizons!

Comment by anna Thu Aug 6 13:35:16 2015
Can i have a video of this?
Comment by ps Tue Aug 25 10:06:31 2015

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