Saturday, March 12, 2011

‘I was born to dance’

He’s beautiful in body, mind and soul and this description is something that anyone who knows him will readily agree with. Charles Ma has come a long way from being a college dance-team choreographer to a full-fledged student and performer of the art of Bharatanatyam, and in less than two years, he has travelled through the long journey of being a teacher, a student, a questioner and a re-discoverer of an art that he holds very dearly to his heart.

“Life is a celebration and I’ve come to know that I celebrate it through Bharatanatyam,” Charles tells me as I catch up with him, after his year-long hiatus. “I’ve been in Chennai, re-learning an art form that I think — now looking at the past — I took for granted,” he says.

Studying a completely new style for someone so deeply rooted in the Kalakshetra baani can be quite trying, but Charles has come to love the nuances and complexities of his new obsession — the Vazhuvoor style.

“It feels great as I feel this complete transformation surging through me. Relearning an art form, with the passion for the new, much like a fresh student has helped me come to terms with a lot of insecurities and obstacles that were running me down as a performer, a year ago,” Charles shares.

“I am now a deeper person, more comfortable with me and my art and with a new strange sense of wisdom that is gained only when one offers ones self completely to an art. Everything else takes second place in a hierarchy of importance, sometimes even me — but it feels right and I am at peace, which is all that matters,” he adds.

Charles will be performing as a part of the Karnataka Nrityakala Parishath’s Natarajotsava — 2011 celebrations and so I ask him what Nataraj, as the 'Lord of the Dance' means to him, personally.

“I come from a family that’s Christian in this generation, but my grandmother was a Shaivite, and I think the love for Nataraj or Shiva comes from there. I look at him as Niraguna Parabramha, and thus I see him in everything and everywhere. It has been hard to come to terms with two often opposing faiths — but I have found my balance and that’s where my faith lies,” he signs off.

Pic Credit ©Madhu Shweta, 2009

1 comment:

domeneck said...

“Go out in the world and work like money doesn't matter, Sing as if no one is listening, Love as if you have never been hurt, and Dance as if no one is watching”

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