Writing the history of the Devadasi with "white ink" is problematic.
When the word DEVADASI was substituted with ISAI VELLALAR, the women stepped back and the men stepped forward.
The English language is a privilege and a burden.
We need a new glossary of terms with which to discuss the dance history of South India.
Pass the mic but don't stop speaking.
- Quotes from Prof. Avanthi Meduri's Facebook conversation with Dr.
Swarnamalya Ganesh on DEVADASI- HISTORY, IDENTITY, POLITICS, PRIVILEGE,
July 30, 2020
There is a beautiful image as imagined by PATANJALI, the originator of Yoga.
STHIRAM and SUKHAM - - Stability and Ease
It stems from the pose of Vishnu reclined upon the serpent Adisesha
while floating on the milky ocean. How adeptly the serpent has to adjust
the coils so that the Lord can continue to sleep. For Mahavishnu
to experience SUKHAM (ease), Adisesha has to practice STHIRAM
How does one flow in the YOGA OF DAILY LIVING using these two images?
How does one live life with these two words as metaphors or gateways to harmony?
We now know that these past 4 months are going to last for at least another 8.
That this year should now be referred to as #DELETE2020.
That we are now locked in a DIGITAL EMBRACE into the first quarter of 2021.
So how do we even begin to consider the ideas of STHIRAM and SUKHAM?
How can we even fathom these qualities when everything around us is being thrown into disarray?
We are off balance more than ever.
There is less and less inspiration and motivation to continue to feel optimistic and positive about life and art.
So how can we even begin to understand SUKHAM?
The cheerleading squad who proclaim that "Dance can surmount anything" now sound weak and unconvincing.
We see depression, melancholia and listlessness all around and even the
best and strongest among us are feeling vaguely unsettled.
No matter how hard we exercise, rehearse, write, sing, paint, sketch,
teach and talk over Whatsapp groups, Zoom and Google Meets and via
phones and tablets - this pandemic is getting to us.
And it has been only four months and we have 8 more to go!!!!
August is the month of marking India's 73rd Independence Day. We spoke
to several dance seniors and asked them to share a memory of what that
day was like!
Read the words and thoughts of many revered names in the dance world in our special article AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT
I would like to share thoughts - not about the zillion Webinars and
online events, but on issues that are emerging during these past months
and especially during July.