Re-loving Kathak

I’m finding new delight in the classic bollywood numbers that have such vibrant Kathak in them, especially rendered by Madhuri Dixit. I used to NOT like how fast it was, but now, for some reason I love it. Maybe I’ve been over bollywoodized but I wouldn’t trade this me for the other me. I was “so much older then…..” (thanks Bob Dylan). Speaking of tradition, hasn’t He become one. Which of course applies to Kathak. It wasn’t ALWAYs a tradition. it grew, as all things do, no matter how ancient. they do grow. And … Continue Reading

Zumba Loves Bollywood Dance!

I’m excited about Zumba teachers! They seem to want bollywood choreography! I was invited to perform and lead bollywood dancing at a recent conference in Cedar Rapids. They were enthusiastic and the result is a workshop on June 30th for Zumba teachers. It’s an unexpected avenue for teaching. Instructors from all over Iowa are attending. I still have to find a location! I was so melted by their enthusiasm and appreciation. The workshop will be three hours long and I’ll share some of my favorite songs and follow-along routines with them. You just … Continue Reading

Moving People

I got asked again to lead Janet Attwood’s Advanced Passion Test retreat in bollywood group dancing. I performed Chaiyya Chaiyya for them and then we all danced together for about 30 minutes at the McElhaney House,  to some of my favorite follow-along routines.  I got this comment the next day from a woman on the course:

Wendy,
Thank you so much for bringing Bollywood dancing to our “Live Your Destiny” weekend. I have been trying to find something that would excite me enough to push through the pain in my body to get my joints moving again. You have given me that … Continue Reading

Dream

I dreamed I was spinning the way I love: the Sufi-like turns that I’m now able to do for as long as I want.  But in the dream I had the choice to give up control and be held while turning. I leaned back and no longer needed to work my feet to stay balanced. I just turned. It was relaxed and easy and “I” wasn’t doing it.  That’s the way to turn, to dance.

Vedic Dance – Kathak with Wendy

Vedic Dance: Tuesdays 3-4 pm. Passion  Dance Studio.   Vedic Dance based on the Kathak classical dance tradition of North India. Basic footwork patterns, movements and turns are taught with a view to imparting the essence of this body culture and exquisite dance language.  Kathak is the dance style that shares its history and evoltution with North Indian Hindustani music (known in the TM movement as Gandharvaveda) and is danced to raga-based melodies and compositions.   There are at least three major Indian classical dances that have been referred to by Maharish and Nada Ram as Vedic dance. Bharata Natyam, … Continue Reading

Creativity & Tradition towards spirituality in dance

I believe that the most sacred dance, the dance that could awaken someone’s whole Being to come alive, that dance would be perfect in its geometry, spontaneous in it’s rendering, unpredictable yet organic and flowing yet precise, free yet intelligent.  I have been pondering what makes a dance “sacred” for years.  I believe in learning a discipline, yet reaching a point where there is freedom to create something entirely new, a new combination or a new move, but I think it’s important that dance obey natural laws.  Beauty of line should be there. Why? because geometry has a positive influence … Continue Reading

Dressing for Dancing – lifelong passion

My first passion, that I recall, was for dressing up.  I remember being “mad” for the Candy Fashion doll and for a long green silk skirt my aunt gave me that went in my “dressup trunk.”  (I seem to remember her bringing me something from India as well, maybe a saree even.) When watching TV I’d go put on an outfit and do what the people in the show were doing.  I couldn’t watch; I had to do.  So I guess the impulse to move and the impulse to be in costume are tied together.  And now, at 53, it … Continue Reading

In love with Amitabh’s slow Jhoom Barabar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmGS4I0XNj4

check out this wonderful outfit, ambience and choreography in an airport.  He’s older now and they choreography accordingly.  It really works – the slow seductive moves and the tiny steps in the chorus.  love it.

January 28th – Yes Intro Class IS happening!

Bollywood Dance Education:Kathak and Kathak-based bollywood dance

New to bollywood? So was I a year ago and the thing that stands out from exploring this world is the amazing variety of styles and the high-energy enthusiasm and love that pour out of every song and dance.  Bollywood dances of course, originated with the Hindi film musical and the early films seemed to draw mostly on the two main classical dance styles: Kathak, from the North and Bharata Natyam from the South.  So for your introduction to bollywood here are a couple of links to youtube videos that feature more classic films with Kathak classical dancing.. The first … Continue Reading