01 January 2014

India Love . . . 3, 2, 1: New Year's Eve!

One thing they don't tell you when you get your nose pierced is to be careful with it while you are sleeping. I suppose that should be common sense. Except common sense doesn't really matter--or work--if you are asleep. Sometimes body parts flail about without your knowledge. I'll spare you the details, but I woke up in what could potentially be mistaken for a crime scene. Or particular scenes from The Godfather, for that matter. This little incident set me back a bit, making me late for breakfast and eventually late to my very first dance class. No matter! Because once I got to the studio, they were so helpful and enthusiastic about my project that I ended up jumping right in and felt completely welcomed (and forgot all about my nose, despite it being placed squarely in the center of my face). My instructor spent the first half of class teaching me the basic steps for Kathak. Khatak is created by the harmony between the Ghungroos (bells) on your ankles and the instruments being played. It's like tap dancing, really. The movement of your feet ring the Ghungroos which creates the rhythm, the sound. The basic beat goes something like this: dha dhin dhin dha, dha dhin dhin dha, dha tin tin ta, ta dhin dhin dha. Khatak was performed for kings and used for entertainment during palace rituals. Check out the top video above--isn't that beautiful? The second half of my class was focused on Rajasthani folk dancing. The kind I saw on my last night in Jaipur. It's called Ghoomar and involves a lot of spinning. So-much-so that I had to take a break every once and again because I was getting so dizzy. I had my instructor do a dance for me to record so that I could study the poses. She's so graceful when she's dancing, whereas I look like I'm doing The Robot (videos of me dancing, forthcoming). In any case, both dances were challenging and fun to explore! I can't wait to use these steps for future work. I need to buy some Ghungroos. Between dance class and dinner, I did some writing and sent off a gallery proposal to Houston (fingers crossed). After dinner, the other 4 residents and I got together for a campfire to welcome in the New Year. Drinks led to dancing, which somehow led to our faces smeared in pink glitter. Who could possibly have brought pink glitter to India? Gee, I wonder. Everyone was so happy and celebratory! It was the best way to ring in the New Year! I didn't get to bed until 2am, which was way past my bedtime: eegads! Cheers, everybody!

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