Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Performing Arts and Us

Madhuri Dixit's comeback movie, though bit loose in script and the story-line, sums up the importance of arts in our life beautifully. Aaja Nachle brings to surface how the business of expressing oneself (read performing arts) is an integral part of life.

Here's what Aaja Nachle has captured commendably well in the movie:

1)The idea that everyone has an intrinsic desire to have that 'one moment of glory'.

2)That dance can free you of your inhibitions, the idea that everyone can 'show us some jalwa or the other'.

3)That a society needs various forms of recreations. That dance, theatre, music programs and such socio-artistic activities are essential to keep a society in tune with its innate desires to express, relate and emote to situations.

4)That fantasy is an important and necessary element of real life.
5)That art forms can elevate a bored society stuck in the mundane business of life to new energy levels from time to time.

6) And most importantly, the state has a role to ensure that the citizens have enough modes and means to avail entertainment at low costs.

Indian culture (and I am sure all other cultures and countries) ensures that the society at large gets enough ocassions to let their hair down. Celebrations like Govinda handi, the ganpati visarjan parades, durga puja, the garba, garbi, dandiya serve as opportune moments to let the spirit feel free and go wild once in a while.

While these festivals make themselves available only at specific times of the year, our traditional folk arts, songs and dance can furnish a good opportunity to keep in touch with our inner self at our own wish and whims.

My sister and both my cousins are trained Kathak dancers. I couldn't pursue the dance for some reasons and I still regret the loss. Simply to see my sisters practising their dance gave me such a sad tinge of longing, of ineptness and of-course of wide-eyed-awe to see their graceful hand and leg moments. Most inspiring was their joy after finishing a piece beautifully.

Aaja Nachle once again revived that sad tinge of missing out on something. Though I have grown to admire kathak as the most synchronic dance form and I owe the partiality to my sisters; I am sure dance in any form and any manner, if danced from the heart, is a feast to the soul, if not the eyes. Have you read 'Tuesdays with Morrie'?. Well, Morrie used to dance to his heart and I can only imagine the joy he derived from dancing alone.

I end this piece with words of Oscar Wilde:

The only excuse for making a useless
thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.


- Oscar Wilde
Preface to "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

All art is quite useless, yes; only if you consider feeding your soul a useless exercise. :)

-Gauri Gharpure

(Source of quote- Wilde, Oscar, URL- http://www.public.iastate.edu/~garden/art.html, accessed on December 4, 2007)


18 comments:

Abhishek said...

good observation and good correlation between real life and a movie . . .

zahid said...

HAvent seen the movie yet.....
But you picked up nice points !!!

And can your too sisters (who can dance) write like you....they will have an ineptness whenever they read ur articles !!!

Cheers !!!

The Mad Girl said...

Absolutely true! but very sadly I can't dance to save my life and in social gatherings when everyone dances...I tap my feet.:-(.

zahid said...

@mad girl

Hey...I do the same too !!!

SSNAB said...

dancing is definetly very liberating. i love dancing.. and i live to dance. everybody should know/learn some form of art.. they r more of stress busters.
our society today most definetly needs avenues of art..


Nice post :) i've nt seen d movie..tht i've heard madhuri hs done sum good dancin.

dharmabum said...

very interesting thoughts. haven't watched it as yet, but when i do, i am sure i won't be thinking about such lofty ideals - what with ms.dixit dancing her way into my bummy lil heart :D

Gauri Gharpure said...

@abhishek, thnks..

@zahid- yeah, even my sis has this awe and pride when i read some of my writings to her.. :)also, though i didnt learn the classical form, i dance like crazy when i get the chance..

@ mad girl.. hmmm... social dos are the best to 'let urself go'.. :) remember the cliche, 'dance like no-one's watching?'

@ssnab-- agreed ..very true, thnks for sharing the same spirit..

@the bum -- yeah yeah...:) u r correct! this post (the lofty ideals) is a result of the after-thoughts, while watching the movie, ws jus gaping at the 40+ something madhuri dancing like a nymph...

Arwindh said...

well..it always happens..

though u might miss dancing u might or already would have found something to feed your passions...

i have updated my post too..do check it..

±. ...The Tentacles of Thought....± said...

Well its a very relative matter...More because i cant dance....a complete left foot....and i feel there are many other ways to let yourself lose ....like for me its air guitaring...nd second reasn why i cnt dance is the music that puts everyone on groove fails in my case..i just cant get to move my body ....at the most nod my head and tap my feet...and i hate dance music.....neway nice post and altho i dont intnd to watch the film i gt an idea.....may tel mum to watch it.....i would love to watch SAW4 tho.....anyone???

±. ...The Tentacles of Thought....± said...
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The Ancient Mariner said...

review is good. but ur new pet is kinda irritating. had to copy your post in word and read as your pet was creating too much noise!!

The Ancient Mariner said...

orry for nagging though :-) hope you wouldnt mind

Gauri Gharpure said...

@mariner-- O.. chhotu gets irritating at times, attention-seeker! u cud ve used the mute button, wasnt it working?? i shut him up while am at office, others get distracted.. this space is meant to nag, criticise or compliment :) so no issues...

@tentacles... the movie doesnt present all the 'heavy' stuff i ve listed,it's subtle and fun. madhuri's dances say it all, so dont get alarmed. it's not didactic... good watch for mum/sis/friends or all those who see a movie to unwind, and not withou purpose/expectations, but madhuri!

matty said...

nice post!!
gud review!!
didnt watch dat movie....nw i want to!!!!

nice post...

Deepak said...

nice movie review...
i rarely see hindi films..
In Hindi I have seen only Lagaan,Rang de basanthi,Chak De india,Swades,Dhoom 2,Bazigar...
So I cant comment much on hindi movies...
thanks for ur compliments...

*Dip* said...

hey, loved reading this post.. i agree with you totally. i am not a trained indian classical dancer, i am a student of contemporary and jazz. there was a time in my life when i left it as i foolishly believed it was not my priority / i was not good enough. but i got back to it. i feel incomplete without this art in my life. i HAVE to pursue it, not just 'want' to. i have to.

i can totally understand the way you feel for having to leave kathak.

i haven't seen aaja nachle yet, but i will .. i admire madhuri

The Depressed Doormat said...

Haven't seen the movie, and doubt I will either. But I wanted to get in a word on your comments about Oscar Wilde.

I think he got it spot on. It renders no measurable value, and "knowing" art doesnt add value to society. From that perspective it is absolutely useless. Perhaps from a different perspective, like "self-improvement" or "entertainment", your comments would be more justified.