Chennai - Dance, watch dance, visit dancers...and go shopping!


A little bit about my "daily life" here in Chennai:

I have free access to a computer with Internet connection in the house that we are staying at. But this being an Indian household, it always takes some time until I get there (the connection is fast though).

First I go downstairs to the floor where the family lives who owns the house. When I get in I have to fight off their Doberman dog “Scooby” who isn't mean but just not very well behaved - Indians aren't very big into strict training for dogs...
Since I usually use the Internet in the evening the family is sitting around the table because they are having dinner or just finished it.
So of course I sit with them, sometimes they make me try some of their food, and we chat for a while.
Then I finally go over to the small room with the computer.
Sometimes their cute 1,5 year old girl comes in to watch.

Right now, Shantala (Shashank’s sister) is practicing the flute while her father beats the rhythm and corrects her. She has a concert coming up next Thursday.



On dance news: In the meantime I had 2 private classes with Bragha, a teacher who is famous for teaching Abhinaya (expression), I learn a cute dance about Krishna from her.

Notice the coo coo clock! Very important in an Indian household that wants to show off some "exotic" decor!

I later performed this dance on stage:

On Thursday we went to watch a dance recital by a very nice dancer. It was a special program dedicated to the Sun god Suriya.



She is a student of my teacher's guru Sri Udupi Laxminarayan, so we had to stay until the end to greet him.
Unfortunately they have this bad habit of lining up plastic chairs on stage after the dance program (when you are satisfied of having seen beautiful dances and frankly quite ready to go home). Then they bring in the special guests who hold speaches. In Tamil. Which means that out of courtesy you have to sit through at least 30 or more minutes of babbeling that you don't even understand....



Then on Friday we went on two excursions, one also connected to dance. We visited the famous Kalakshetra dance schools. It’s located on a vast terrain and all the dance classes are held in small houses called cottages. The students there start their day with chanting and praying to Ganesha.


The founder of Kalakshetra, Rukshmini devi had built a large performance hall.







And they don't only teach dance here but also other arts like music and painting. 




Since we went there with an old teacher we had the opportunity to sit in some classes and watch different levels of students.
It’s really fortunate that my teacher Barbara has lived in India for many years and has good connections!

Can we take this cute dance teacher home with us, please?



In the afternoon we went to some kind of cultural park where they had assembled different houses from South Indian states. That was really interesting.
















And the dozens of Indian school girls loved to talk to us Westerners!


Everybody buys some souvenirs





On our way home we stopped shortly by the beach. Nobody was swimming - but then I don't think the water is very clean here anyway...



Today I walked a bit after my private lesson and dropped into a hairdresser to get my hair washed.

Then I went for a shopping spree!
We all love this chain of shops: www.fabindia.com/