Karma Dance: Make Bad Art
[00:00:17] [Indian music playing]
Raina: [00:00:28] Hi, I'm Raina Peterson,
Govind: [00:00:30] And I'm Govind Pillai.
and we are Karma Dance.
[00:00:34] We're both trained in classical Indian dance,
but in different forms of it.
[00:00:38] I'm trained in Mohiniyattam, which comes from
And I'm trained in Bharatanatyam,
[00:00:44] which comes from the south of India.
And we use our training in classical Indian dance
[00:00:49] to create experimental dance works,
exploring the themes of gender, sexuality, diaspora,
[00:00:54] colonialism, time, and other cool things.
[00:00:59] [Indian music playing]
We've created four full-length works:
[00:01:07] Our first was In Plain Sanskrit, which premiered here
at Footscray Community Centre in 2015,
[00:01:13] And that was an experimental classical Indian dance
work exploring diaspora and tradition.
[00:01:19] The second was Bent Bollywood, which came out
in 2018, and that was a queer Indian dance...
[00:01:31] How can I describe that?
Yeah, exploring the themes of gender and sexuality.
[00:01:41] Then there was Third Nature, at Arts House
which was an experimental dance work
[00:01:47] where we had hundreds of strands of Jasmine
and we used this gorgeous set. A Jungle of Jasmine.
We had about one kilometre of Jasmine.
A quarter of a ton.
It was a lot! And it was really beautiful!
[00:02:05] So we used that to create a fantasy world
[00:02:13] And last November,
At Footscray Community Centre.
[00:02:16] As part of the Due West Arts festival, we had Kāla ,
which is a classical Indian dance about death.
Our practice also includes teaching.
[00:02:26] So we run one of the largest classical Indian
dance academies established in the 2000s in Australia.
[00:02:32] And we train children from the ages of four,
all the way to professional artists that are hoping to either
[00:02:38] expose themselves to classical Indian dance,
or from a different discipline,
[00:02:42] or to develop a practice of their own in the art,
[00:02:47] [Indian music playing]
So I started dancing when I was about seven,
[00:02:55] But I took a really long break through my teenage years,
[00:02:58] I guess I was sort of finding my place as a male assigned
at birth dancer, in a predominantly female discipline
[00:03:06] and was a little bit cautious about how I identified
with my dance form,
[00:03:11] and didn't really find a place I could just slot into.
[00:03:14] So I stepped away for most of my teenage years,
but realised there was something missing
[00:03:20] that was so core to me,
and I had to rediscover it again.
[00:03:24] So I was about nineteen, twenty,
and through to twenty one,
[00:03:28] when I started formally training in classical Indian dance
and really reconnected with something,
[00:03:33] that I feel I'd left behind for too long.
[00:03:36] From there I think meeting Raina and
dancing classical Indian dance,
[00:03:41] as well as looking at what else it can be,
has not just been a profession or a kind of art pursuit,
[00:03:48] but it has also helped me discover who I am,
[00:03:52] as I've explored the intersection of classical dance
with sexuality and identity,
[00:03:59] And finding kinship in collaborators,
and others like Raina, that I can work with.
So I was born and raised on Gurnaikurnai land, in Gippsland.
[00:04:12] I'm Fiji Indian, and for some reason
a lot of other Fiji Indian migrants
[00:04:18] are located throughout Gippsland.
I don't know why.
[00:04:21] We found each other, and all the adults wanted the kids
to stay connected with their culture,
[00:04:32] Because it's really intense growing up as a person of colour in regional Victoria.
[00:04:38] So they wanted us to retain a connection to our culture.
[00:04:42] So we had dance lessons for the kids.
[00:04:45] Every year for Diwali, we would do a dance
performance as part of a little concert celebration.
[00:04:53] So that's how I started dancing and I loved it.
[00:04:57] When I was eleven or twelve, we ran out of aunties
who were willing to take on the task of teaching us dance.
[00:05:05] So my parents were like, 'okay, let's
sign the kids up for a classical Indian dance class.'
[00:05:10] And kind of randomly they saw
an article about Taraj Kumar's latest show.
[00:05:19] And they said 'oh, yeah, let's go to that!'
[00:05:21] It was awesome!
[00:05:23] So they signed us up and I started learning
Mohiniyattam from Taraj Kumar. Just randomly.
[00:05:29] My parents didn't really know
what Mohiniyattam was
[00:05:32] or how it was different to any other classical Indian dance.
[00:05:35] So Mohiniyattam is actually
a quite obscure dance form.
[00:05:40] It's very popular in Kerala, it's State of Origin
but it's not very popular anywhere else.
[00:05:48] And there's hardly anyone who teaches it in Australia.
[00:05:50] So it's really random that
I'm learning this obscure art form.
[00:05:54] I started learning when I was twelve
and I just love the the art form.
[00:06:04] When I was at uni, me and couple of my friends,
we were very frustrated by the racism that we
[00:06:13] were experiencing in the world and we
thought 'Let's do something about this'
[00:06:17] You know 'what should we do?'
[00:06:18] Should we organise a forum?
[00:06:22] Should we publish something?
[00:06:23] 'What are we going to do?'
And one of us said 'Let's do a cabaret show'.
[00:06:26] 'Of course! It's a great idea!'
[00:06:28] And so, we did an Antiracist Cabaret show.
[00:06:32] We performed that,
[00:06:35] And then I started performing around
the queer scene as well.
[00:06:41] That was the start of my professional performance life.
[00:06:45] And then one day I found out about a classical Indian
dance performance that was coming to Melbourne.
[00:06:56] And thought 'who is this person? Govind Pillai?'
[00:07:00] 'I don't know who this is'
[00:07:04] I had something on that night and I wasn't sure
whether I could make it.
[00:07:08] But this this Govind guy was pretty slick
and he had a trailer for the show,
[00:07:13] And watching the trailer
[00:07:14] I thought it looked nice.
[00:07:16] I could check that out.
[00:07:17] And then I saw the Youtube recommended videos,
[00:07:21] and was an interview with Govind and his sister, Sandya,
[00:07:25] Who was in the performance as well.
[00:07:27] So as I was watching the trailer, they were
talking to the camera and then Govind says three words.
[00:07:35] And I thought 'oh my God, he's gay!'
[00:07:38] I was so excited! So excited to know there was
another classical Indian dancer who was gay.
[00:07:45] So I decided I'm definitely going to this show now.
[00:07:48] We went to the show with my partner,
[00:07:51] Watched it, and it was amazing.
[00:07:54] Afterwards I went and said 'Hi, Govind.
My name is Raina Peterson.'
[00:07:58] I'm a Mohiniyattam dancer, we should work together'.
[00:08:01] And Govind is thinking 'I don't know
who you are... what is this?'
[00:08:06] But also he's very polite.
[00:08:08] And then I introduced my partner, my girlfriend.
[00:08:15] So Govind introduces his partner as well.
[00:08:22] And so we both kind of...
...Had this little secret conversation
[00:08:26] about sexual orientation in the classical Indian
space, which was quite special, actually.
[00:08:34] It really was. Even just to find a classical Indian
dancer in Australia that was interested in a similar thing,
[00:08:40] And then to have a kinship,
I think was pretty special.
And I was right. We should work together.
[00:08:50] And we did.
[00:08:51] It was great.
[00:08:54] So we started off by performing little gigs here and there.
[00:08:58] We were really keen to do all this stuff
that we weren't paid properly for, [Chuckles]
[00:09:04] But we just loved working with each other
and trying new things.
[00:09:10] I think an important moment for us was when we went to the Malaka Arts and Performance Festival in Malaysia.
[00:09:16] And being in a different country allowed us
to loosen up a bit and just try new things.
[00:09:25] And try doing the stuff that
totally go down well in a festival.
[00:09:30] And that would not fly for our
classical Indian dance community, necessarily.
[00:09:37] So we got to play with some ideas and think
about what was actually important and interesting to us
[00:09:45] And make some weird stuff.
I think we moved our practice through that,
[00:09:51] From 'What is classical Indian dance?,
'What is that training and our practice?'
[00:09:56] To 'who are we?'
[00:09:57] We started asking the questions around,
[00:10:00] Who are we, and how
does that manifest in our practice,
[00:10:02] Because we didn't have the watchful eyes of,
you know, the places we grew up in. So we came back unleashed.
And actually, it was from the Arts and Performance.
[00:10:18] Festival that had the seeds of what became
'In Plain Sanskrit'
[00:10:24] Being able to play and give yourself permission to
just be weird is what really helped us to.
[00:10:35] find our creative voice, and find what
was important to us creatively.
[00:10:41] The work that we are actually most proud of
is Bent Bollywood,
[00:10:50] Which premiered in 2018 at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute,
[00:10:56] and it's a queer South Asian dance show.
[00:11:03] And we use classical Indian dance, and Bollywood, and queer performance art to create a work about gender and sexuality.
[00:11:13] And we were so scared making it. It was the scariest
show ever made because, we were using classical Indian dance,
[00:11:22] Which is High Culture.
[00:11:24] It's just held as this very solemn, sacred tradition.
[00:11:30] And we're using this art form that we've
inherited to make a gay, slutty dance show.
[00:11:40] We were really scared and
we had a lot of doubt.
[00:11:44] Asking ourselves 'Can we do this?'
[00:11:48] 'Are people going to hate this?'
[00:11:50] 'Are we going to get in trouble for this?'
[00:11:52] But there was something telling us this
is important, because queer South Asians exist.
[00:12:02] We felt like there was something in this work that was
really calling to be to be created.
[00:12:12] And so, we created it.
With a lot of fear, but we we created it.
[00:12:18] And it was the most rewarding thing ever,
because we got incredible feedback from people,
[00:12:27] particularly from queer South Asians, but even queer people
of colour in general,
[00:12:32] saying things like how moved they were by the show,
because it was really powerful for them,
[00:12:42] To be able to see that being queer and being ethnic
are not mutually exclusive categories.
[00:12:50] That there is queerness in tradition and tradition in queerness and those things,
[00:12:56] Being queer and being ethnic
are not mutually exclusive categories.
[00:13:01] So we've got incredible feedback about that.
And we've just been shortlisted for a stance award.
And we were so scared about losing community,
[00:13:12] because community is so important to artists.
[00:13:14] And we all work so hard to build community
and collaborators and experiences.
[00:13:18] to the point where old Govind from those days
went through my Facebook account
[00:13:24] And carved all my community into two buckets,
[00:13:28] Ones that I would promote Bent Bollywood to, and the ones
that I wouldn't for fear of loss of community.
[00:13:35] And I would never do that now, but I had to go through
that feeling of.
[00:13:40] 'I'm going to lose community through my practice.'
[00:13:43] 'What am I going to do?
Community is important for art.'
[00:13:46] But then what we've realised over the years, Raina and I
have talked about it so much to understand,
[00:13:52] why we have a strong community today,
[00:13:56] And I think it's because we haven't followed the
textbook approach around building community,
[00:14:00] Which is so deliberate and so strategic and
very focused and targeted.
[00:14:08] What we've done is being very authentic with our work
and just try to make what we can
[00:14:13] in the face of the fear of loss of community.
[00:14:15] And that has allowed instead of building community,
for communities to come and find us.
[00:14:20] It's a longer journey, but it's more sustainable.
[00:14:22] And I think audience and community development that
comes from being really true to your form,
[00:14:28] allowing yourself to be found by your community,
will last a longer time and is a lot more
[00:14:35] rewarding and fulfilling.
Also, with Bent Bollywood we have tested it and
[00:14:47] before launching Bent Bollywood, we've actually performed
excerpts of it at places like Unicorn's.
[00:14:54] And the Cocoa Butter Club. Queer parties and people
of colour art spaces to test stuff
[00:15:02] and to see what what people's vibe is,
how people are kind of responding to that.
[00:15:08] So we're not creating work in isolation necessarily.
There's still contact with community.
We still have the feeders out to allow them to inform us about the work, to see what is needed and to feel that.
[00:15:27] [Indian music playing]
[00:15:35] First tip:
Making art is to make bad art.
[00:15:40] We make very bad art...
No, I'm Kidding [Both laugh]. We make great art.
[00:15:45] But I think it's important to allow yourself
to make that art and to make mistakes.
[00:15:51] It's through exploration, play, fun and
silliness that you can come up with some really cool (ideas).
[00:16:00] Just try new things and innovate,
explore and tease apart what's actually important.
[00:16:06] So embracing play and connecting with curiosity is really important in art making.
[00:16:17] And it's also important to not take yourself too seriously
and to hold your practice too solemnly,
[00:16:25] As classical Indian dancers that's been quite difficult for us. Our art forms are very, very traditional.
[00:16:36] So it's been actually quite difficult
to try and unpack it a little bit
[00:16:43] And to ask questions of what is actually
essential to this work and what's important to us.
[00:16:49] This is how we've been working, and obviously
there are some traditions where
[00:16:55] it's important to seek permission
and to consult with elders.
[00:17:03] But for us, allowing ourselves to be silly
and have fun has allowed us to crack ourselves open,
[00:17:14] to crack our art practice open, and find out what's inside.
[00:17:18] [Indian Music Playing]
[00:17:24] Our second tip is about ideas. The thing with ideas is
that it's perhaps more about quantity than quality.
[00:17:32] So with Raina and I, we often have a thousand
ideas we say and a lot of them are really bad.
[00:17:39] But amongst them there are a few gems.
[00:17:41] And those gems have actually ended up turning into
the works that we've made today.
[00:17:46] And it might sound a little basic,
but with every idea, write it down and commit it to paper,
[00:17:53] Because our brain has this way of filtering
things out for us that perhaps shouldn't be.
[00:17:57] So we might filter ideas out for various
[00:18:02] Viability, you might say,
'oh, I don't know if that's even possible'.
[00:18:04] It might be for reasons of judgment, or things that you're judging yourself about, or what you think others might think.
[00:18:13] So, before you even get a chance to
filter them out, put them down on paper,
[00:18:16] Capture those ideas, because if you close the door on
ideas, they might not come knocking back again.
[00:18:22] And the greatest asset you can have is a breadth
of ideas and potential creative pursuits,
[00:18:30] or angles, perspectives, or options to then play with.
[00:18:36] [Indian Music]
[00:18:43] Our next hot tip is to keep the creation and criticism
[00:18:49] So there's a time for editing, refining
and evaluating what you've come up with.
[00:18:54] But it's not when you're creating
and having fun and playing.
[00:18:58] So have fun and be silly; generate your ideas.
Make art with abandon.
[00:19:02] And then, afterwards, you can refine and reduce.
I think words like abandon and silliness,
[00:19:08] what they do is, they allow you
to connect with the joy in your art practice.
[00:19:13] And it is work for a lot of us,
but there's fun there as well,
[00:19:17] And that's been a big source
of pleasure for us over the years.
[00:19:22] (Indian Music)
[00:19:27] The next hot tip we have is that
perfection can be the enemy of good.
[00:19:33] Some say perfection can be the enemy of progress.
[00:19:36] So don't be too hung up or invested
in trying to get the perfect outcome early.
[00:19:46] The last bit of perfection of that journey
from 85 to 100 percent is often the hardest,
[00:19:51] and where you end up investing so much energy for very
[00:19:56] So knowing where to cut your work or to stand back and say
'it's good enough',
[00:20:05] will allow you to progress and then involve ideas rather
than trying to get them perfect.
[00:20:10] It reminds me of a beautiful
story my grandfather told me.
[00:20:12] He took me around to the grounds of a temple in
South India where there were about three or four elephants
[00:20:17] playing in the sand in the temple.
[00:20:19] And the elephants had this practice of drawing patterns in the
sand and they would just while away their time doing that.
[00:20:28] They'd leave these beautiful imprints in the
sand with their trunks.
[00:20:32] And if you spent enough time watching them, each
of them knew and had a particular point in time
[00:20:37] when they just stopped, and they got up and moved on.
[00:20:41] They had formed an idea in their minds that the
work was done, that it was finished.
[00:20:46] And they could have gone on forever.
There's no boundaries in this practice that they had,
[00:20:52] but they all had an innate sense of
'when is good enough'.
[00:20:56] And that's always reminded me about how you can
go on forever, but at some point 'it's good enough'.
[00:21:02] (Indian Music Playing)
[00:21:09] Our next tip is to have a think about how the
audience may experience the work.
[00:21:14] So as artists we spend a lot of time looking inward
and introspecting, trying to express what's inside.
[00:21:22] But it's also important to spend some time thinking
about how the audience might experience the work,
[00:21:28] and how they might connect with the work.
[00:21:30] We're both classical Indian dancers,
[00:21:32] and as classical Indian dancers we're performing an art form
that a lot of our audience may not be very well acquainted with,
[00:21:43] So by necessity we have to think about how we make work
so that audiences can connect and engage with it,
[00:21:54] and not feel too lost and have some sense of
understanding and connection with the work.
[00:21:59] Emotion is also an important part
of our work, as well.
[00:22:03] We think about how we feel and how
we want the audience to feel and how we can connect
[00:22:11] with the audience and the
emotional journey of the work.
[00:22:14] So feelings are quite important to us.
I remember when we were making third nature that,
[00:22:21] Like most artists we charted out on a whiteboard
the flow of the show.
[00:22:25] So we said, 'this is happening, and
that's happening, and then this is happening'.
[00:22:28] And then we kind of actively went,
'But what's the audience feeling?'
[00:22:35] And it wasn't explicit, but most of our conversations
ended up being about what the journey was in
[00:22:42] the room for the people, apart
from the artists and the creators.
[00:22:46] And we only realised that when we were making
our next show, which is in a digital space.
[00:22:53] We found that one of the strengths that we were transposing from that that experience,
[00:22:58] we were thinking about how is the audience
going to experience this digitally,
[00:23:02] and how do we play to that and ensure
we give them a journey.
[00:23:06] Thinking about everyone except those that are
the creators, at some point in the work, is really powerful.
And following on from the idea of perfection,
it's also important to note that making art
[00:23:21] Is not a perfect moment in time.
It's a cumulative journey.
[00:23:25] You've got your training in your artistic practice,
but you've also got your life experiences,
[00:23:33] Your story and your your skills,
and your emotional intelligence.
[00:23:38] And you can rely on them. You're using all of these things
to create and you can rely on them.
[00:23:43] It can be useful to identify and create the optimum
conditions for all these things to nourish you.
[00:23:54] Create those conditions and relax, and open yourself up to them allowing them to nourish you and help you make your work.
I think the beautiful thing about recognising the
cumulative nature of the journey is that
[00:24:10] we live in an environment that values novelty,
but values something new.
[00:24:15] So we always, as artists, feel
like we have to create something new.
[00:24:18] How is this different to my prior work, or how
does it grow my prior work,
[00:24:21] Or how is it different to what else there is.
But like Raina says, if you know it's a cumulative journey
and the word seeds that you used,
[00:24:33] makes a lot of sense to me, because they're
seeds that you've planted in a prior work or in a
[00:24:38] conversation you had with your mother in law that taught
you something, or your child, or your sister,
[00:24:43] or your brother, or your sibling, that that you can draw
on their seeds just planted through your life
[00:24:48] that you can you can harvest in work.
[00:24:52] Even my guru once said to me, don't hesitate to perform the same thing over and over, and over, and over again,
[00:25:01] because each time it evolves differently as
different layers add.
[00:25:06] and as you're growing your practice.
[00:25:08] (Indian Music Playing)
[00:25:16] So for a contest of ideas, it's important to
have diversity, of course, that's well understood,
[00:25:22] But it's really important to have an alignment of
ideas, as well,
[00:25:25] and having people in the mix that create a safe space
for ideas to evolve that you do align with.
[00:25:31] And the two together make powerful collaborations.
And also alignment of values,
[00:25:39] Prioritising relationships and process over outcome.
[00:25:42] (Music Indian Playing)
So this is an activity that you can do.
[00:25:52] It is a 10 minute quickie.
I want you to do is get a piece of paper
[00:25:58] and write down all of your creative ideas,
it doesn't matter how half-formed they are,
[00:26:03] Just write them all down, even if it's just
a theme or an image,
[00:26:07] Or a question that you're trying to answer in your work.
[00:26:09] Just write down all your creative ideas
and then cut them all out from the piece of paper,
[00:26:15] And fold them up, put them in a hat, shake the hat,
[00:26:19] Do a little lucky dip and read what you wrote.
[00:26:24] And then you set a timer for ten minutes,
and you've got ten minutes to make an art about this.
[00:26:31] Ten minutes! No more!
[00:26:33] See what you can create in ten minutes,
and you'll probably find that you can create quite a lot
[00:26:40] more than than you think.
[00:26:42] And I think it'sh hving these limitations are also good
because ityou know kind of because you know, that you are limited,
[00:26:49] and you know that you can't create a masterpiece in
[00:26:52] Or maybe you can, who knows! Give it a shot.
[00:26:55] But it allows you to quiet down your perfectionism
and just do it.
[00:27:00] So that is my hot tip.
A ten minute cookie.
I'm going to go try that.
[00:27:04] So I have a little tip of something
you can try at home.
[00:27:09] And it's based on the idea that a lot of us
have so much to do as artists beyond our actual practice.
[00:27:15] These grand applications to write,
emails to follow up.
[00:27:18] There are videos to edit, profiles to fill in.
[00:27:22] There is so much work that is not your core practice,
and this can feel really overwhelming.
[00:27:28] So, how can you address that and deal with that?
[00:27:30] A practice that I have is, when things get overwhelming,
as they often will,
[00:27:35] I sit down and I choose a time horizon.
Sometimes it's a day, a week,
[00:27:39] And I write all the activities that I'm thinking of doing,
down on a piece of paper,
[00:27:43] And I make sure each one has a separate line.
[00:27:46] And then next to each of those
activities, I draw an emoji.
[00:27:51] It might be a smiley face, it might be a sad
face, it might be my brain exploding
[00:27:56] And it expresses my emotional attachment to the activity.
How I feel about it.
[00:28:01] And what I end up doing is, I look at everything that has a negative energy associated with it,
[00:28:05] The stuff that's weighing me down,
the stuff that's not me prancing about in the studio,
[00:28:09] creating art, but is doing everything else
I need to do as an artist.
[00:28:13] And I ask myself a few questions.
[00:28:16] One question is, can I actually avoid doing that activity?
[00:28:20] Is it actually necessary?
How superfluous is it?
[00:28:25] And if it is, I try to find ways of eliminating that activity, because sometimes we create (extra) work for ourselves.
[00:28:31] The second thing I ask is, is there another way of going about it that I'll enjoy more?
[00:28:36] What alternative approaches are there
to doing that activity?
[00:28:40] And the third question I ask is, is there anyone
I can lean on, any resource, any person, any supporter,
[00:28:46] any collaborator to help me do that activity that might
be better at it,
[00:28:51] Might find more positivity and joy in that activity.
[00:28:53] And can I bring them in to support my practice?
[00:28:56] You'll be surprised, and I'm often always surprised
that one of those three answers is often true.
[00:29:02] And I'm able to eliminate that of my
burdensome list of things to do.
[00:29:07] Sometimes it's not, it doesn't answer those questions and you
do have to deal with it, but you're dealing
[00:29:13] with a much smaller
list than what you started with.
[00:29:17] And eventually you end up with a list
that has more smiley faces [Chuckles].
[00:29:21] So, just consciously stopping to question your approaches
and clean the energy in your work profile is really helpful.
I like the idea of checking in with how you feel emotionally
[00:29:36] about things, as opposed to forcing yourself to do it.
[00:29:38] Checking how you actually feel,
[00:29:41] And sometimes even acknowledging that
'hey I feel shit' [Laughs]
[00:29:48] And 'OK I feel very bad about this. I'm going to just...'
[00:29:55] 'I feel kind of crummy about this, but I'm going
to soldier on', but having that sort of recognition,
[00:30:01] acknowledgement and acceptance
can feel like less resistance.
Often is about asking you to trust your intuition,
[00:30:14] Because the reason you're feeling icky about
something is often because you don't have enough support,
[00:30:19] Or it's too hard for you because maybe there is a
skills gap and you need someone else at the table with you.
[00:30:24] Or you are genuinely trying to do more work for
yourself because you're overdoing things,
[00:30:29] because you're an artist and you probably have an element
of perfectionism about how you project manage your life.
[00:30:35] So it's right. Getting in tune with
yourself. And your intuition is possibly right.
[00:30:40] If you're not feeling good about an activity.
So in our latest work, Drishti, which is at The Arts centre
for Fringe, is part of a takeover program.
[00:30:55] I've got a little scene where
I've got a metal bowl of water
[00:30:59] and I'm just moving my hand in it and it looks really cool.
[00:31:03] So I'm going to guide you through the
process of how you can do this at home,
[00:31:11] Because I really enjoy the process of coming up with that.
[00:31:16] I found it really like meditative and soothing.
[00:31:24] It really raised my awareness about how simple
things in my life can be a source of sensory delights
[00:31:36] And aesthetic beauty and pleasure.
[00:31:40] So what I would like you to do
is to grab a large metal bowl,
[00:31:46] If you happen to have one, or any other kind of receptacle,
even a sink would would be fine, and fill it with water.
[00:31:54] This is ideally done in a dark room, with a small source of light shining on the water, to add a cool lighting effect.
[00:32:06] And so, once you've got that set up, bring your
awareness to your hand.
[00:32:12] A hand is really expressive. As classical Indian dancers,
we have this whole gestural vocabulary with our hands.
[00:32:21] There's a lot of character that you can have in your hands.
[00:32:28] You can move them so that they're really fluid and graceful,
or make sharp and pokey, and jagged movements.
[00:32:37] And try moving with different kinds of textures of
movements, like fluid and sharp,
[00:32:47] fast, slow, constant, erratic.
[00:32:52] So, just playing with your hands or even just one hand.
[00:32:54] And notice the kind of shapes and the movements,
and how it feels, how you can use these movements in
[00:33:00] your hands to express different emotional states or ideas.
[00:33:06] So play with your hands for a while and then,
with your bowl of water, slowly submerge your hand in
[00:33:15] and observe how your hand looks different under
[00:33:23] And as you move your hand in the water, notice how the light shines off the water, and the different ripples that occur.
[00:33:33] Then see if you can make sound using your
hand and the water, like splashing it
[00:33:40] or letting the water drop, bringing your awareness to
the kind of sounds that you can create.
[00:33:48] And with all this knowledge that you now have,
all this playing that you've done,
[00:33:54] see if you can create a duet between
your hand and the water.
[00:34:00] Playing with the sound, the shapes, the movements,
the light and the colour.
[00:34:10] Playing with your hand in the water to explore
an awareness of light, colour, shape and sound,
[00:34:18] and also sensation; the feeling of your hand
in the water.
[00:34:22] And creating, creating beauty and expression through this simple act of putting your hand in a bowl of water.
Thank you for watching, we hope you found
the tips really useful!
And make bad art!
[00:34:40] [Rhythmic Indian Music Playing]