Vishakh, Mirra and Veena Basavarajaiah

The next time you watch a toddler stumble around a room, navigate through nooks and crannies behind sofas and between chairs, look again closely – there may be an idea or two in there for a choreographer. That was the case with the dancer Mirra [she doesn’t use a second name]. “Mirra was greatly inspired by the movements of her two-year-old son Vishakh while within her womb as well as in confined spaces around the house, and was excited by his awareness and his navigation of the space,” said Veena Basavarajaiah, who is part of the trio that will perform in the city this week.

The inspiration behind their work was in the classes that Basavarajaiah and Mirra run for kids between the ages of three and six, where they use instinctual movements and help kids to understand rhythmic movement, balance, body awareness and co-operation. “The notion that kids only understand if things are dumbed-down is a misconception because these kids need to know exactly why they are doing something otherwise they refuse to engage with the exercises,” said Basavarajaiah. “We use standard techniques like trust exercises, rhythm and balance exercises, as well as a great deal of partner work, to increase self and body awareness.The movement classes, if nothing, teach you to be honest, because you can’t lie to these kids and make up a story to explain away things,” she explained. “We’ve used movements that have developed from the classes, and incorporated them into this piece titled ‘Kanda’.”

“ ‘Kanda’ is primarily about the concept of ‘mother’ and ‘child’ and how these terms have larger means – like ‘mother’ could mean the origin or primary source of stimulus for something, and the ‘child’ is that something that is stimulated by interaction with this source,” she said. “To keep the piece true its form and idea, we have incorporated these instinctual movements and reflexes.”

“The piece is titled ‘Kanda’ because it is the affectionate, colloquial form of a mother calling a child. It also allows the piece to work within the framework of improvisation, and some sense of dance colloquialism – seeing that it is influenced by a child, and the dancers adapt to his movements,” she said. Joshua Muyiwa

Source : Time Out Bengaluru ISSUE 19 Friday, April 03, 2009