Saturday, 21 March 2015


It is imperative for a performing artiste (read dancer) to take up an alternative fitness regimen, simply because the body wears out due to the intense stress caused by the postures of dance. I refused to believe this for quite some time because I was under the impression that dance itself is the best form of exercise. It is ! Except that it injures you, which may not be realized until much later. This realization, however, happened quite early for me and I figured that it was not possible to continue dancing without a countering exercise regimen.

I was aware that world over, people resorted to Yoga for fitness, flexibility, strength and peace. I am certain, it is indigenous to our culture and is also the oldest and most sought path for fitness. Unfortunately for me, Yoga wasn't appealing for some reason. I still cannot figure out why, although I hope that at some point of time, I am bestowed with the inclination to pursue Yoga. 

Choosing to step away from the typical, I began following Blogilates , a health and fitness portal that employs a very exotic exercise regimen - Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez). For those of you who aren't aware, Pilates is a sophisticated fitness system founded by Joseph Pilates, which was developed in early 20th century. It comprises core strengthening techniques, coupled with stretching exercises that are meant to mobilize the body. 
I find it quite amusing... most people I meet are either unaware, or wrongly informed about Pilates. A friend once said "Oh isn't it done only by women to get curvy?". And another friend asked "Isn't it practiced only by pregnant women ?". To clarify, the answers to both these questions are a big NO. 
Firstly, everyone can do Pilates. Do read this article - Who can do Pilates ?
And secondly, it certainly takes a lot of strength to achieve this. Disproving the myth that Pilates is for wimps. 
And what does one gain ? A stronger core (implying a stronger body), flexibility, energy, better posture and most certainly weight loss. 

Cassey Ho (the founder of Blogilates), also one of the leading Pilates exponents in world is a fun, inspiring fitness instructor. A social media entrepreneur for fitness, she trains millions of viewers online through her Youtube channel : .
I try to keenly follow her monthly calenders where, on a daily basis, she introduces target exercises for toning and sculpting the body. Of course, it is going to take a great deal of time and perseverance to get to her stature, but within just over 6 months into her regimen, I can feel the stark change in my energy levels, both on and off stage. I'm almost certain that I don't feel as fatigued as before while doing my Nritta (rythm oriented, basic grammatical movements of Dance), while hoping to someday finally feel the effortless ease with which Cassey does her drill. 
The battle is now against my foodie instincts which almost always take over all the hard work done ! Sigh !!!

Pilates was life-changing for me. Why don't you give it a try ? 

Thursday, 12 March 2015


Dance has been a way of life for me since I can recall. 
An influence so strong that required me to accommodate everything else in life around it. An influence I will forever cherish, regard, respect and nurture, for it gives me an identity....a unique identity which I would never have otherwise. An identity which in turn influences me to write my very first blog post (after a long hiatus) about dance.

As a student of Bharatanatyam for 18 years, and a performer for 9 years { Rangapravesha (solo dance debut recital) onwards } , I have known dance to be my God, my best friend, my beloved, a source of solace, a boss, a fitness instructor and what not ? To an extent, dance is personified in my life, always present, sometimes apparent. 

2015 started off on a busy, "dancy" note for me. Eight performances in two months, 5 of which were outstation involved a lot of travel, and more interestingly a lot of practice. Just for my record, the performances were at :
  • Jan 8th - Karur Natyanjali, Karur
  • Jan 13th - Shantala Nrithya Vaibhava, Bangalore
  • Jan 24th - Nrithyamrutham, Mangalore
  • Jan 29th - Nada Neerajanam, Tirumala Tirupathi Devasathanams
  • Feb 7th - Keremane Shambhu Hegde Rashtriya Natyotsav, Honnavara
  • Feb 17th - Rajarajeshwari Nagar Cultural Association, Bangalore
  • Feb 20th - Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha, Chennai
  • Feb 25th - Yuva Sourabha, Bangalore

You could view excerpts from my feature "LAKSHANA - The Enigmatic Feminine" presented at the last two recitals on this link :

I was also pleasantly surprised to find a video uploaded on Youtube by one of the Mangalore audience members, which you could view on this link :
                             Nrithyamrutham - Mangalore

Travelling is one of the best aspects of a performer's life. Meeting new people is something I have always enjoyed, and maybe the experiences in the aforementioned performances could make a blog post by itself. 
Dance is indeed an identity which I am (and I'm sure most dancers are) fortunate and blessed to have.

But....What happens when you have an identity so strong that you forget who you are ???