Dancing is beautiful. Dancing is hard.

Vijayadasami – Celebrating Learning, Art and Life

In some ways, Vijayadasami is like New Year’s Day – an opportunity to re-energize what we love to do, rededicate ourselves to a path of wisdom, and to start new things with humble hopes of success. It is a day to honor those who have guided and invested in our knowledge, learning and art, and to aim for knowledge over ignorance.

As I prepare for Kala Vandanam’s annual Natya Sadhana celebration, it is also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the journey of each student. While it is often difficult to find the excitement and joy in the struggle to learn something new as a student, observing this struggle (and how students work through it) is one of the most rewarding things about teaching. Seeing students improve and find satisfaction is the icing on the cake.

Our annual Natya Sadhana celebration is truly just that – a commitment to sadhana (practice) and a celebration of improvement during the past year of study. Some students are participating for the first time, some for the eighth time. My hope is that it always feel fresh and meaningful.

My gratitude to my natyaacharyas for all they have given (and continue to give) me so generously. Because of them, I have the joy of Bharatanatyam in my life. They have given me the gift of art, and the ongoing encouragement to continue my studies, and share the art to the best of my ability. The only thing I can do in return is to keep practicing the art with humility, and share what they have taught with integrity.

While it is very bittersweet this year to offer my Vijayadasami namaskarams in memory of Master, Narasimhachari Sir, who passed away in August 2015 – one year to the day that we lost my grand-guru, Sri Adyar K. Lakshman. I am grateful his guidance; his voice and his choreography will always be with me. Dear Master, your golden voice has left its earthly ties, but it will be with us always.

I am grateful to Kala Vandanam students and their families for sharing in this journey with me – There are some who have been with me on the entire journey, and others who have joined at different times along the way. Wishing all of students and families a wonderful Natya Sadhana performance today, and joyful learning in the year to come.