Their inclination to Indian Dance – July 1st, 2006
That was a Saturday evening. I boarded my car after worshipping at the Krishnan Temple at Waterloo Street, Singapore. That was quiet close to “Nithralaya Fine Arts”. Singapore Tamil Society strives to enrich Indian arts. A Temple and an Art Center with in a span of ten yards epitomize Singapore Tamil society’s approach to its culture.
I saw some Indian children with the ‘Sruthi box’ and with Bharathanatyam anklets in their legs. Some thing distracted me then and was amazed by that sight. I saw two Chinese women in the traditional baratha natyam attire among the Indians. What could have brought these women here? This question deep inside me became irresistible, and I approached them finding the reasons. Below is what I spoke with them.
I VEE HUA (38 Years)
She works in a trading firm. Her husband has a passion for Indian Culture and her daughter wanted to learn Bharatha Natyam. So, she also spared a thought as why should not she attempt to learn this art? Now she finds this to be a good exercise.
She further says, ” After I started to learn this, I have developed an interest in Tamil Music as well. In the fifteen months of learning this art, I like the head movement the best”.
She aslo says, “I attempted to learn ‘Belay Dance’. My body does not adapt to belay unlike Baratha Natyam. My Chinese friends are happy and do not show their resentment. In fact they enjoy me dancing”!
CHRISTINE (42 Years)
Christina is into this art for the past one year. Twice a year Christina happens to travel to Chennai for two weeks and conducts Ayurveda classes. There she has come to know about this art and is the prime reason for Christina to take up to this art. She does not find it difficult to learn this new art even at this age.
She says, unlike other arts through Barathanatyam hand, body and facial gestures communicate many things very effectively. That is the most impressive part. She says, ‘I intend to learn barathanatyam as far as I can’.
WONG CHEE MENG (35 Years)
Wong Chee Meng has been learning Bharathanatyam for the past ten years. Having watched dance programs in television, he had developed an interest to this art and he started to learn this art. After ten years of experience, he has also performed on stage.
The proud performer says, ‘through hand gestures, you can show various images such as tree, bird, flower, mother and child etc… This is something unique from the other arts and it is a real thrill to perform this beautiful art’.
Miss Gayathri (Dance Teacher)
So, what is the experience of the dance teacher in teaching the other race students? Gayathri, the teacher from Pondicherry says, ‘I have no problem nurtring the Chinese students. As they come to learn Bharathanatyam with interest they learn it as fast as Indians.
Language is not a problem while teaching. First I will teach them the meaning for a word in the sentence and the facial and hand gesture for that. Then I teach the meaning for the whole sentence. This in fact will augment their interest in the art. So, teaching other races is ever a pleasure.’
True… Art is Universal… Art is eternal… Art is a God given gift!!!