Getting Over Two Left Feet

Dancing is not one of my strong points. I’m the one who makes staccato movements, raises her left hand when it’s got to be the right, and cannot follow structured dance moves. You’d expect Basil to be better. Fortunately, for me, we’re made for each other. We both have two left feet. I’m glad we never have to repeat our wedding dance. Between getting stomped by his giant feet, trying (and miserably failing) our best imitation of the waltz, and smiling until our jaws hurt; we managed to keep our audience entertained. That’s one thing ticked off our bucket-list!
That’s why, I truly appreciate, anyone who can forget who’s looking at them and immerse themselves in the music. It’s not easy and takes a lot of courage. Under the spotlights, a true artist born.
Picture1

The Call for Love – Assam, India.

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym,
and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Muhammad Ali
The Mishing tribe of Assam gear up in preparation for spring. They sing songs of love and life. Young girls and boys of the village come together and there’s a shy, almost coy, song of courting when nature’s in full bloom.

Balancing Act – Rajasthan, India.

“I think if you give in and accept society’s stereotypes,
then you start thinking, ‘I cannot dance till late at night because I’m 70.”
Yoko Ono
It takes skill to dance. And it takes a lot more than that to balance earthen pots whilst dancing. Add a smile and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Picture5

The Desert Dancer – Rajasthan, India.

“I grew up with six brothers.
That’s how I learned to dance – waiting for the bathroom.”
Bob Hope
As we waited for sunset, a young girl approached us. Underneath her garish make up — was the face of a cheerful child. Her smile was infectious. Our friend joined her in her free flowing dance. We watched and cheered. Too bad, there is no such thing as a free lunch or as it turns out — free dance.
Picture2

Under the Veil – Rajasthan, India.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you.
Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.
So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
Neil Gaiman
A group performance needs more than rhythm to be successful. The dancers need to be in sync with each other and the music. The Ghoomar dancers had little difficulty doing so. They swirled in perfect circles, clapped their hands in unison, and sang a lilting folk song. It surely might look easy for the uninitiated. I know for sure — it isn’t.
Picture6

The Dancing Doll- Pondicherry, India.

“I try to dress classy and dance cheesy.”
Psy
We walked the streets of Pondicherry aimlessly. It’s hard to miss the burst of colour. Hidden among the rows of earthenware was this brightly painted clay doll.
Picture7

Dance in Iron – Pondicherry, India.

“If you’re feeling blue, lock yourself in a room, stand in front of a mirror, and dance – and laugh at yourself and be sexy. Dance the silliest and ugliest you’ve ever danced.
Make fun of yourself and try to recover your sense of humor.”
Salma Hayek
The old houses, in the Tamil quarter of Pondicherry, showcase distinct cultural styles — of an era quickly fleeting. We spotted this curvaceous beauty, proud to be herself, and dancing gleefully.

15 responses to “Getting Over Two Left Feet

  1. I don’t mind pop music dancing but not dancing at a Punjabi sangeet 😦 I have had attended a few sangeets in Malaysia and as a guest, I felt obliged to dance along to a song or two. After a while, I can’t keep up with the beat. I’d rather stand close to the bar with the menfolk with a tipple or two, but that would be was awkward because all the women are on the dance floor.

    • I’ve never attended a Punjabi sangeet. But I could imagine the setting. Most Indian weddings/pre-wedding celebrations are about mixing unstructured dance styles with local dance forms. The best strategy is to move away from the center, ensure the video guy doesn’t have a soft spot for you, and dance as if no one is looking. I’ve done that! 🙂

  2. Great post. I have watched some classical Indian dance performances and think that they are exquisite. However it takes years of practice to perfect the art. As for me, I have a good ear for music, but feel self conscious and uncomfortable dancing in public. Don’t ask me why!

    • Thanks, Helen! 🙂 Indian classical dance does take years to master and the styles vary across the country. Folk/tribal dances (in this post) are based (from what I understand) on culture, seasons, and folklore. But, that doesn’t make it any easier. I tried the first dance in the post. And just as you said, I was too self conscious to move my body and clapped instead. 🙂

  3. Pingback: WPC Dance (Rain Drops) | What's (in) the picture?·

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