My journey as I work towards Bharatanatyam for all
Learning in Bharatanatyam is a lifelong process, and I am fortunate enough to still keep learning from my gurus (Maheshwari Amma, Vanitha Didi, and Jayan Sir) who are based in Ahmedabad, India.
My journey towards Bharatanatyam for all has been twofold:
Bharatanatyam’s depth is rooted in Indian culture and history and the various cultural and political upheavals that India went through. It may seem counterintuitive to use a 2,000-year-old art form to express current thought, but given that the form and its pedagogy is steeped in nuance and depth, to me, it seems natural! Besides, a dance form that has thrived in spite of disruptive forces such as colonization has in it the power to withstand disorder, and be relevant to diverse populations.
My science, science writing, and science education training also come in handy here. The strategy I use to make Bharatanatyam relevant and understandable to all is not so different from writing about science for a lay audience. I have written here how my scientific training makes me a better dancer, and how my dance training makes me a better scientist.
The scientific principle of synaptic plasticity (the capacity of the brain to change with experiences), the positive impact of movement for mental health, and the power of self-expression lie at the core of my work.
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My name is Sloka. I am a neuroscientist and dancer; you can find more about me here.