Today was an incredible day.
It was one of those every-thing-goes-right-and-you-feel-awesome type of days. After the weekend all of our lessons resumed and for the dancers (my apologies for those who are frustrated with the lack of voice students and mirdangam and flute students – I’m trying to make sure to include everybody throughout these blogs) our main guru Krippa-Ji who was called to Dehli FOR A CONFRENCE(?) for a week, finally returned.
Chelsea, Kevin A., and I were hyped up for our first lesson with Kripa-Ji. Her knowledge and philosophy on teaching and learning was inspiring, and she brought a vivacious new energy to the lesson (Chelsea who is video blogging will have a new video covering all of this in greater detail soon. Check http://tinyurl.com/zygn85c for her vlogs.)
We had quite a few great conversations after lunch, and I had some time to journal/rest/recover - maintain.
In the evening we went to a sarod concert (for those who don’t know - a sarod is a kind of Indian fretless guitar with a metal fingerboard - look it up, it’s super cool.) by the masterful Rajeev Taranath, who’s had an incredible carrier through his eighty-some years of life on this plane (his introduction was quite long but amazing to hear).
He talked with a solemn pace, that for myself was trance-inducing, about his professorships and praise of his accompanist on tabla. He talked about the dirt that fills the world and institutions and people (and how the tabla master lacked such dirt).
And he played.
The first piece was a slow exploration of the raga he was using, with these reoccurring descending motifs that were woven in and out of a fabric of notes and slides and ornamentation of the musical line - I was hooked. It was long but moment contributed to this slow build and back down to a quiet place after who-knows-how-long.
I learned about melody and it’s construction (and I’m here to be a dancer and a writer, but here comes my composing self again?!).
The second piece, involved the tabla quite heavily as the raga (from what I remember him saying) was a rhythmic raga (I really hope I heard correctly) and so there was a constant interplay between the sarod and the tabla. This piece was in a constant stage of building and building and building and only relaxed briefly to start a new phrase that would only gain even more energy than the last phrase.
I had never seen a tabla player play as fast and as long as this guy did. The endurance of the two was insane. So much so that I’m at a loss of good adjectives or what-have-you-to-explain-how-absolutely-amazing-it-all-was.
All of this plus a nice surprise of the previous vocal concert as we walked in, lasted an hour and a half.
Unfortunately we have yoga tomorrow at 6am. As always.
(Spoiler, I don’t go to yoga the next day because I stayed up late that night, reflecting on the concert)
I forgot about the lecture on women in India we had today. That was the other incredible thing that happen. We discussed feminist trends, history of the women's movement in india, inter-cast marriage, honor-killings (really wretched things, and I do not apologize for those who believe otherwise), the intersectionality of women and how cast, class, patriarchy, etc. all are factors in a woman's identity and her existence and how she functions within the world.
I knew I was missing something.
With tired eye,