of Bharata Natyam, for me, lies in its ability to harmonise the physical,
intellectual, emotional and spiritual dimensions of life, giving the
dance the power to touch and to communicate at all levels. Being a composite
art, it synthesises melody and rhythm, painting and sculpture, poetry
and theatre. The dancer is simultaneously the musician, singing with
her body... She is the sculptor, shaping and structuring space in forms
both graceful and powerful. She is the painter, adding tints and hues
to a line drawing... She is the poet, writing her poems with movement,
gestures and expressions. Ultimately she is the seeker, whose dance
becomes a transcendental, transforming experience - an ecstatic prayer
that celebrates the beauty, the wonder and the mistery of life."
Since 1997, Ciane
has been working with actors' body training at the Federal University
of Bahia, also teaching dancers from this university and other institutions,
through the graduate courses Contemporary Dance Theater and Movement
Analysis, and in the productions of the A-FETO Dance Theater
(*), under her direction. From the data
collected so far, in relation to traditional and contemporary dance
theater, the continuation of this study will open lots of technical
and performative possibilities of application in other centers of the
country, providing and facilitating the learning of a technique of difficult
(*) In Portuguese, A-FETO means both affection
has observed, for example, the difference between Bharatanatyam and
Orixa dance (from the Afro-Brazilian Candomble religion), which she
has studied with Joselito Santos and Suzana Martins. Although, consisting
both of complex aesthetic-cultural-religious polytheist systems, with
a dance connected to nature's forces, Hindu and Afro-Brazilian Candomble
dances have quite distinct expressive qualities, postures and rhythms.
The Candomble dances, although quite complex, are to a certain extent
absorbed in popular street dances of Bahia, and their rhythm does not
seem difficult to the Bahian body (Ciane hasn't had the opportunity
to observe classes of this tecnique in other Brazilian states).
On the other hand,
Bharatanatyam is a totally foreign system, with its rigid and agile
postures, stable pelvis, detailed hand gestures and facial expressions
completely new and distinct of national rhythms such as frevo or samba.
Ciane hopes this study opens up possibilities of cultural interchange,
recognizing and validating differences as learning challenges and stimuli
for enhancing the body (which for Laban, as much as for Bharata Muni
(1) and Candomble "dancers",
includes all aspects mentioned by Valli (2)
- from emotional to spiritual), expanding creative possibilities (as
for Bausch and Chandralekha (3))
much beyond post-industrial, productive, docile and disoriented limitations.
author of Natyashastra manuscript (Theory of Drama) - the oldest
and more complete treatise about performing arts, written 200 years
dancer, considered to be the leader dancer of Bharatanatyam of her generation.
In 1994, Bausch and her international company travelled to India, where
they had several presentations in a tour with Chandralekha, Indian contemporary
choreographer trained in Bharatanatyam.