By Suchitra Sairam
“After this show, I think you’re an overnight success.”
I heard this from a very well meaning, generous audience member after Kala Vandanam’s recent ensemble show, “Sampradaya.” He was effusive about the show, and all the things he enjoyed.
Then someone (not me) burst his bubble with the truth.
This show was the result of 21 years of Kala Vandanam.
1 performance was presented, after
3 weeks of intensive ensemble preparation, after
9-15 years of training by each of the ensemble dancers, under
the same teacher whose studio celebrated 21 years of teaching, mentoring and creating art.
All of this aside from
said teacher who continues training and practice to never stop growing, and
accompanying musicians who are experts in their craft after decades of immersion.
It was deeply satisfying artistically, with a cohesive ensemble, and a shared experience with the audience.
When thinking about the Rose-Bud-Thorn framework, there isn’t enough space for the Roses and Buds from my perspective.
Rose: Celebrate the Good
Bud: Nurture Growth & Potential
Thorn: Confront Challenges Head-on
(at least a million) ROSES
It was about the art and the work. Everyone wanted to be good individually, but everyone wanted to be good as an ensemble much more. Egos left at the door. Joys and challenges experienced together.
(at least a million) BUDS
The least experienced dancer didn’t feel any less than the most experienced one. Each person had an opportunity to shine in their way. Looking into the future, this gave me much hope on how humans CAN be together if we make the effort.
(a few, but big) THORNS
After an immensely satisfying and high quality (based on audience feedback) show, it was hard to see how few people took the opportunity to support the arts financially. In most places, such as business, athletics, or entertainment, quality and connection are rewarded. Why doesn’t this happen in the arts?
Rose-Bud-Thorn is about celebration, nurturing potential and confronting challenge.
Let’s face this challenge – together.