To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.
I have observed the body – its desire and reluctance to move, extend, bend, stretch, contract, as also its propensity to tire and be injured. It is not less obsessive than thoughts of the mind or feelings of the heart. When the body learns to do the gymnastics of the mind, then as in yoga it too has to be reined in, controlled, given rope, re-trained, manipulated even, in order to attain what we wish to effect from it.
There is also a very particular energy that emerges beyond the singular, as when two or more bodies work together in a single expression. Not only in the sublimation of one to other, but also in the unconscious moments of touch, of support, of caution, of aggression. It is these movements – so much a part of life –which become manifest in the dance of several bodies.
We all take impressions from what we have perceived before. Our particular sensitivity washes over that impression – giving it a fresh dimension. ‘Unconsciously creative’ work is rarely seen or experienced! However, the urge to create cannot be denied and the newness or success of it is quite irrelevant to the urge itself.
Spanda is a culmination of impressions, reactions, growth and an urge to express myself in the medium I know. The soloist is never restricted by his or her style – our great masters have proved this with the breadth of their vision. I find the expression of bharatanatyam in several dancers a challenge precisely because its expression in the one dancer has always been so vital. The full potential of this has not been tapped. I enjoy the process of bringing several energies together, of moving and feeling in unison. At most times the exuberance of the individual ego has to be curbed, restrained – to lend strength to the group. Energy has to be distributed, shared laterally – giving the style a particular dynamism not easily experienced in the solo format.
Learning to own one’s space, to share it, to acknowledge another’s – this is the challenge of our work. This ability to share and yet give expression to one’s own feelings is what enhances the whole, not unlike the experience of life itself. There is sweat, tension and exhaustion in achieving such a dream. There is also the joy of shared success! Spanda vibrates.