Bhaskar’s Arts Academy Dancers Speak Out!

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013

Bhaskar’s Arts Academy Dancers Speak Out!

Welcome to the Bhaskar’s Arts Academy blog! We wanted an avenue to share what we are up to in a little more depth than on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (Follow us!)

If any of you remember Purnima from 2011,  you will remember the wonderful choreographer Hari Krishnan. Well for a second time, Bhaskar’s Arts Academy dancers have had the opportunity to work with him. This time, it was in a collaboration with his Toronto, Canada based dance company, InDance for the production, I, Cyclops, which premiered at the 2013 CanAsian International Dance Festival.

Hari Krishnan spent a few weeks at the beginning of 2013 with our dancers, teaching them his choreography, getting them accustomed to the movements, as they were sometimes a combination of contemporary and bharathanatyam movements, AND he recorded some music with the Bhaskar’s Arts Academy musicians which will be featured in the show. Needless to say it was an insanely busy week for him and the dancers.

 

I, Cyclops

I, Cyclops

I, Cyclops

I, Cyclops

I, Cyclops
After all that hard work, and months of rehearsals to preserve the choreography, and movements. We embarked on a 19 hour flight to Toronto, Canada. Long flight, jetlag, long rehearsals, acclimating to the cold weather, meeting a whole new troupe of dancers and Hari and the dancers STILL gave TWO amazing shows. We did manage to sneak a LITTLE bit of sight seeing in between rehearsals. We explored the amazing St. Lawrence Market, and the CN Tower both walking distance from our hotel.

 

I, Cyclops

I, Cyclops

To get a feel for what it was like travelling to Canada for this festival and performing with another troupe, our 3 wonderful dancers, Priyadarshini Nagarajah, Sarenniya Ramathas, and Hemalatha Sathasivam have shared their experience through their eyes with us, and we thought we would share it with you too!

Priyadarshini Nagarajah

I, Cyclops

I, Cyclops
“ I have to say, I never really expected to be given a chance to perform overseas. But this experience with inDance in Canada has been truly an inspiring and encouraging journey! Working with Hari Sir has indeed been a pleasure, as he is always so patient and understanding. Though it is difficult to learn from a different instructor as learning styles and teaching styles differ, I learnt to adapt to his style and also to be flexible – switching styles between my normal class lessons and practices with Hari Sir. The actual trip to Canada was exhilarating and nerve-racking at the same time. Not knowing how the dancers will be like and how the practice culture is like over there made us all quite anxious. But the dancers and Hari Sir were very accommodative and we also managed to adapt quickly. Performing in Canada was such an inspiring experience, meeting dancers with different styles but being able to relate to their love for the art was simply encouraging! It was wonderful to meet such passionate individuals and to be able to share our love for dance in different yet synchronized way was tremendously moving. The energy we felt during practices and on the actual performance day itself was so positive and vibrant! It is hard to describe the feeling and the only word I can think of is – Magical.”

Sarenniya Ramathas

I, Cyclops

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“Performing for I, Cyclops in collaboration with InDance dance company in Toronto was an educational and enriching experience. When we first started learning the dance for the show, I was afraid I would be too overwhelmed by the contemporary aspects of the choreography but that was not the case at all. Hari sir blended the two dance forms together seamlessly and made us feel completely at ease. This being my first time travelling overseas for a performance, I was both nervous and excited about how rehearsals as well as the show itself would be. However, my nerves were put to rest immediately by the warm welcome we received from everyone at InDance. The team as a whole worked very well together and everyone was willing to help us and guide us. It was very refreshing to work with dancers who each had a distinct personality that contributed so much to the show being the success that it was. The process of putting together the contemporary and Bharathanatyam aspects was a joy simply because it gave us the opportunity to appreciate the nuances of both dance forms and the various different styles of the dancers. The performances were exhilarating because the atmosphere was completely different from what we were used to. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to perform at the CanAsian Festival as it was a truly humbling experience to be a part of something so much bigger.”

Hemalatha Sathasivam

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I, Cyclops

“I, Cyclops was a journey that was out of this world, incorporating the beautiful nuances of Bharatha Natyam and the sensual moves of contemporary. As a dancer with NAS for 17 years and a core dancer with Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, I have travelled to quite a few countries together with the troupe. That was my honour and blessing. Each trip taught me something, something so special that it would remain dear to my heart forever.

I, Cyclops was indeed an eye-opener and I was able to view dance on a much larger scale. There were many adaptations that my fellow dancers and I had to undergo. Firstly, we had to step out of our comfort zone and instead of wearing the traditional Punjabi with the thuppatha or the dance saree, we were encouraged to wear tank tops, t-shirts and slacks or tights. Honestly I was not much in favour of this because firstly I am not very comfortable with my body and I had never had to do this for the previous performances. However, when your mind sets to do something, the impossible becomes possible. I had to wear the tanks and tights and eventually, I began to feel so much at ease with my curves. I was suddenly made more aware of the movements needed in dance and even the positions we had to sit in became more of a challenge as we had to almost perfect it. This was one of the many lessons I learnt from this trip.

The other main thing that I had a hard time with at first was the contemporary aspect. I am not one of the more flexible nor supple dancers. I have always felt that my strength lies in the expressing of my emotions. I, Cyclops once again showed me that ANYTHING is really possible. I can’t say I became flexible overnight but I can safely say I made improvements. Unlike the other dance tours that I had embarked on, I, Cyclops was a production on a matter that is much closer to the heart. It beautifully embodied the various aspects of the life of the choreographer, Hari Sir. There was a depth of emotion in the various dances that not only made me think but also to feel much more.  Each item had a profound meaning to it that resulted in me understanding and valuing the true meaning of life and how beautiful it actually is. While dancing with the professional dancers from Canada, we formed wonderful friendships. Within the short span that we had together, we were able to think as one mind and one body. Probably because we shared the same passion, dance.

I, Cyclops

I, Cyclops

 “I, Cyclops was staged in Toronto, Canada and that was one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. It was a stark contrast to Singapore. Almost everyone was very approachable, warm and friendly. They always had a kind word to say or a smile. Of course food was incredible too! Though nothing beats Singapore when it comes to the food cuisine, we could get almost everything we had a craving for (Thai Express, Chinese takeout, Indian food!) Tim Horton’s hot chocolate was to die for and they had maple-dipped doughnuts that was absolutely AMAZING!”

I, Cyclops

“I, Cyclops was an incredible journey, with many lessons and memories that would undoubtedly stay etched in my mind and heart forever. Many lessons were learnt, friendships forged and new tastes were developed. I would like to thank Aunty Bhaskar for the great opportunity, Rani akka who was like a mother to us during the journey, Hari Sir for his unwavering faith in us, Meena akka for her astounding love and support and Gabriela Bhaskar for the awesome pictures! I, Cyclops not only taught me plenty, it enabled me to open my third eye and see the world, and dance, in a whole new perspective.”

GAB-20130429-661

I, Cyclops

Bhaskar’s Arts Academy would like to thank InDance for a wonderful time in Canada. As the dancers mentioned, they showed us an amazing time, and were ever so hospitable and welcoming. We are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming them here in Singapore.

I, Cyclops

Bhaskar’s Arts Academy and InDance will be presenting I, Cyclops and Purnima (back by popular demand) in a double bill on July 28, 2013 at NAFA Lee Foundation Theatre at 7:30PM. Tickets are on sale now at Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society +65 6336 6537 and Bhaskar’s Arts Academy +65 6396 4523.

I, Cyclops

 

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