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Sydney, NSW, Australia
Photographer. Writer. 45yo Indo-Fijian Australian. Glam Feminist. Coconuts.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Went to see Havana Rakatan at the Sydney Opera House last night... WOW! They are fantastic!  Their energy, infectious!  They bowed to a standing ovation and so they should... they danced from their blood, with their sweat, through their skin, from deep from the heart... I'm not a reviewer so this is not a review... the audience was blown away by the energy the troupe conveyed. 

If I had to critique... I would say that it felt... hmm...a bit too polished and "by the numbers for the foreigners" but these are minor gripes in comparison to the overall joy and enthusiasm of the show and how it depicted a true sense of Cuba and her dance [rumba], and her music and the exuberant nature of her people... who live to dance.

Dance is for me the most evocative art form.  More than that... it is something I need to do.  Not to escape, not to release, not to lose myself... it's just something I need to do.  It's a dependance...

MORE...AND I MEAN MORE PICS, LINKS & unfortunately words AFTER JUMP!

I have been dancing and performing my entire life.  From childhood.  Although I have performed professionally, I am not a professional dancer nor am I good enough to be a fulltime professional dancer but hell I'll go ahead and say, I'm a damn good dancer, on a stage and on a dance floor and I have dabbled in and danced/performed in many styles. 
I was an Indian Classical dancer for many years and now I am a Flamenco dancer.  Or learning to be one.  I think you never stop learning.

Please note: Indian classical dancing is very chalk to 'Bollywood' style cheese. 
Please also note, I really don't like the term 'Bollywood'.  There is something rather derogatory about it.  I prefer Hindi Cinema.. Hinema...

Not only do I attend dance classes (other than Flamenco) but I also regularly go out dancing with my friends* and cutting sick (or trying to!) on the dancefloor.  And... the buzz of performing... there is nothing like it... that adrenalin rush... the butterflies... the getting found -not lost- in yourself when every step is crystal clear...  so clear you're not thinking about them anymore you're doing, you're dancing... the music is blood and you become a rhythm of life...

What about you?  I know many of you (Kiran, Polka Princess, Veshoevius) are dancers... and I'm sure many many more love dancing.  Where does dance fit in your life? 

*I used to go dancing with my husband but he's happy now that I do this with my friends! Men! 


The following is a set of images which link to videos...
Please click on the pics to see videos.  Please note all links will open in a new window.
These are my major dance influences and the styles I dance. 

I hope you enjoy these and can understand why they influenced me so much...


The great Hema Malini in 'Mehbooba' 1976
This mesmerised me!  I was 6 when I first saw it and I was just floored!

I co-(re)choreographed and performed this routine as a trio when I was 12!  With a broken foot!
I have mentioned before that I was a Kathak dancer for about 12 years, I dabbled in Bharata Natyam (the style Hema is famous for and what is considered India's national dance) because I just love the style but as I am of North Indian origin, Kathak is what was in the blood!
...and Flamenco came from Kathak...


The Great Cyd Charisse with the Great Fred Astaire.
'The Band Wagon' 1953

...and now you know where the idea for this came from...
(one of my all time favourite clips... but Cyd and Fred did it first...
I co- choreographed and performed a banging routine to this song about a million years ago... sigh...)


From 'Coming To America' 1988
Choreographed by Paula Abdul.
Apologies, the video is not a quality one but you could always hire the movie... I just love this routine soooo much!

Michael Flatley's 'Lord of the Dance'.
Okay, this shouldn't really be here because I can't do Irish dancing this at all!!
...but I wish I could dance like this and this music thrills me...


Ori Tahiti...or as you may know it, Tamure. 
Again I could have supplied a better video but this song 'Siva Pasifika' is my favourite one to move to.
...I can't quite move like that anymore (41yo hips need a lot of stretching!) but I can still shake my hips faster than most non Ori Tahiti dancers!


My most favourite contemporary dancer, the legendary ballerina Sylvie Guillem.
I have had the pleasure of experiencing her live, twice.  Each time I see her, she takes my breath away.


This is twee!... but... I loved the movie 'A Chorus Line'... particularly the clip I've shown here.
Forget putting Baby in a corner... no one puts Bebe in a corner!  She shows 'em how it's done!
(The character's name is Beatrice Ann 'Bebe' Benson and she's very shy and considered "lacking in appeal"... hell. NO.)


...and of course... Flamenco...
These images by Fabian Perez thrill me... which is why they are on my office wall... behind my computer.
Click any pic to take you to my 2 most favourite scenes from 'Flamenco (de Carlos Saura)' 1995.

...and this is Sara Baras... aka FLAMEnco.

And then Madonna... MC Hammer... Michael... and now Destiny's Child... Beyonce...



Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Dearie I am traveling (am in my land of Tango) and dancing. And the first thing I read, is your post on dancing.

Some connect we have.
Sending you lots of love from this land of Tango.

Tanvi said...

i had learnt Kathak as a kid. Though I wish I had continued it ... I do not practice a dance form, but I love to dance. It is such a stress buster and just so much fun. I can dance all day! :)

♥ from ©

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Dance is incredibly important to me and I get very confused living here in Australia where people refuse to dance unless they are drunk. Drinking and dancing do not mix - does that make me a purist? I wanted to do ballet and it's something that I would still like to try but I have always love Pacific dancing. I learnt to tamure while living in Fiji and I wasn't too bad (no false modesty), especially when my wide hip bones started to emerge at age 14. I didn't do any traditional Indian dancing, but loved to watch. Music and dance - inseparable. Thank you for this my lovely Dusk. I hope we will meet one day and dance:))) xoxoxoxoxo

sacramento said...

Thank you my dear Dusk, you know how to get to my heart.

Hippie Holly said...

I love dancing! Learnt Bharatnatyam and Kathak for a bit as a kid, but didn't stick with either... But I do a great free-form, insane dance for no good reason at home even now :) Love all the videos and images!

Veshoevius said...

I did lots of ballet, years of nightclubbing and as you know flamenco - I've long given up the first two but I think the flamenco will stay with me for good. I love watching kathak and I think that somewhere in the history of flamenco it probably played a role. We are all connected through art in history in the end!

La Dama said...

You always look so elegantly posed amor. I love watching flamenco and tango and of course Bharata Natyam dancing. I admired the beauty of it all. I only dance to Mexican accordion polka songs and thats when I feel like it.

Vix said...

Firstly, you look totally glorious in green and that pose is sheer poetry Dusk, love it.
Secondly I'm afraid all I do is drunken dancing or wiggling away to Bollywood movies (sorry if that's the wrong term, I also use "Sandalwood" to describe Chennai-based cinema). I enjoy watching classicial Indian dance and Kathakali. I'm woefully ignorant regarding any other dance medium although I love the costumes of the Flamenco dancers. xxx

Leia said...

The way you feel about dance is the way I feel about music. I just *need* it in my life. If I go a few days without playing piano... I feel like a part of me is missing. But... I'm not a very good dancer! :P I really admire and respect those who can move their bodies so gracefully and turn them into instruments of poetry... I am often asked if I am a ballet dancer to which I always answer "I wish!"


Terri said...

Your love of dance shows in your posture. I studied ballet and tap as a child and belly dancing as an adult, but it is purely recreational.

Shruti said...

You look like a goddess. That pose is mesmerizing. You might not want to share the secret but how do you manage to take such beautiful pictures!? ;-)

Dance has been my fascination (there.. another similarity :))When in school, I used to perform on stage on all the events. As I grew..I lost interest. Now when I want to get my feet tapping I don't have time. I never went to dance classes in my life. but I will. someday. May be after few years when I'd need to lose the baby fat (if I gain any) :-P said...

You are so talented. I can just see it in those devilish eyes of yours! :)

I love dancing. It makes me soooo happy. Unfortunately I haven't danced for years. :( Besides with Myles. haha he twists those tiny shoulders!