I often forget people’s names. I forget where I met them. My husband says it’s because I don’t pay attention. I convince myself that it’s because I have a facial recognition problem; but I’m not so certain. I do not however, forget corrections. I know everything that every teacher has ever put into my body. I know where it’s from. I know how I know it. I am also very aware of the first time I discovered it. In the past few years, I have begun to learn and surprise myself with things that I know from a cumulative knowledge. Things that I didn’t know I knew. Things that come upon me as ‘facts’ that I have unknowingly assimilated from the ambient universe. Processes that emerge from inside me are a mix of many different ingredients.A�
We often hear that ‘knowledge is within us’. I have heard that we are only meant to ‘uncover’ the knowledge that we already possess. I am finally beginning to understand the meaning of that statement. I am beginning to understand subjects that I have never delved deeply into. When I teach, I talk about ideas of which I was unaware I had the knowledge of. I can only deduce how I may have come upon this knowledge, but I am unable to say exactly how, or from where. Dance as a whole has become an uncovering.A�
I have not had my Bharatanatyam teachers to guide me for more than 10 years now. I haven’t been to a structured learning program or a regular ballet or modern class for over 8 years. I have had other guides and learning tools and these have served me through this time. Slowly chiseling away the layers of ignorance, the more I learn, the more I feel there is to learn. I’m constantly faced with how little I know in reality and how much there is left to discover. Discovery and learning, I feel is incessant.A�
The basic foundation of any subject is important. We must know all the essentials. Our roots must be strong and deep. There must be a dedication, rigor and honesty to the study of a subject. A strong foundation allows our branches to go in all directions. The deeper our foundation, the further our branches can reach. With shallow roots, far reaching branches will make everything collapse. As far as we want to reach, A�we must develop the same keenness of interest to go deeper into our core subject.A�
I also believe that once there is the keenness to discover, engage and absorb, the learning can come from everywhere. It is entirely up to us to keep our minds open to this possibility. The sunlight we see falling on the grass; a conversation about water conservation; someone talking about the perceptions of design , anything can relate to our dance. We just have to allow it.
So let us be open. Dance is all around us.A�