Dear Choreographer… I’m Trying

Dear Choreographer… I’m Trying

You may not notice me as much as the other dancers, but I’m here and I’m listening.

As you know, every student is unique and I’m no different. Sometimes I feel I learn just a little bit differently then all of my peers. Sometimes I think I have to work even harder than my peers to keep up with everything that’s going on. I see my friends pick up choreography perfectly at rehearsal, while I have to go home and work on it for hours. Even though this is the case, I still want to be here, I want to perform and I want to do my very best.

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How the People of Classical Dance shaped me, fought with me and fixed Me.

How the People of Classical Dance shaped me, fought with me and fixed Me.

I started learning Kathak (a classical dance form of northern India) when I was five. My parents wanted my sister and I to be as fully immersed in the Indian culture as South African Indians possibly could be. Even now, I can still clearly hear my guru (teacher in Sanskrit) telling us to smile through the pain of strenuous dancing, reciting beats along with us and even the sound of her ghunghroos (bells tied around the ankle) as she walked around the dance studio watching us try stamp our feet along to the recital music. 

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The Challenge of Janis Claxton - A Tribute

The Challenge of Janis Claxton - A Tribute

These are hard words to hear from a friend. They’re certainly not the sort of words an arts journalist might expect to hear spoken by an artist from her death-bed, but then my relationship with the late, Brisbane-born but Edinburgh-based dancer, choreographer, and producer Janis Claxton wasn’t necessarily typical of what commonly transpires between two people occupying professional roles that some might (typically and erroneously, in my opinion) view as combative.

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