Out of the Box

 

Out of the Box

Many people participate in activities that express who they are.  Others may participate in activities that represent their culture.

Nirali Patel, senior, is one of those people.  She devotes a lot of time to a classical Indian dance called Bharatanatyam. The word dissected means expressional dance with rhythm and music.  This dance incorporates the portrayal of graceful temple dancers.

“The dance is all about grace.  That is the heart of the dance.”

This dance begins with one dancer, but as the music progresses more and more people join in on the fun.

Patel has been dancing for five years.  Practice for her lasts for two hours, three days a week.

“Practice is intense.  Last year I was out for a week or two because I hurt my leg.”

During practices the dancers are perfecting their moves and techniques.  The dancers perform a show just about every two months.  In this dance there are five stages of expertise.  Once one has mastered stage five there is a graduation performance that consists of two straight hours of dancing.  This graduation ceremony is called Arangnetram.  Nirali will be approaching this milestone in the summer of 2013.

After dancing for multiple years Patel has found a deeper relationship and understanding with her culture and religion.

“I love to dance, I thought it would bring me closer to my culture.”

Multiple religions incorporate dance into their cultural beliefs.  Practicing and achieving Bharatanatyam is very important to the Hindu religion.  Dancing to the Hindu believers is very important and close to their heart.