Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Revision of Reflection.

The concept 'Reflection' being the most vital aspect of our study, I decided to reread some articles from (Moon 1999) and Dewey's Reflective studies, Rereading them threw some new insights.

Reflection always starts from where we are. Usually, when we reflect we find ourselves in a new situation while expressing we end up reflecting complex things which may be associated with a range of feelings, or experiences which may be emotional or spiritual or anything.
Dewey describes reflection as a specialized form of thinking, that turns a subject over in the mind and project it as a serious thought. Each learner finds their own way of reflecting in different contexts that often influence their learning methods.
Research suggests that there is a fundamental difference between adopting deep approach and surface approach reflection. A deep reflection is where a learner intends to understand the meaning of the material, willing to integrate it into one's practice along with previous ideas, either reconsidering or altering one's understanding if necessary..however, the new ideas are filed carefully.

whereas, in a surface approach a learner tend to memorize the material as it is, not trying to understand its relation to previous ideas, or consider the purpose of reflection. apparently, there is an evidence that it is by challenging learners with ill-structured material of learning, that they improve their cognitive ability. (King and Kitchner,1994)
Thus, my understanding is that deep reflections are necessary when we are reflecting on any professional behavior, along with critical analysis providing explanations associated with different contexts. while Reflecting, if the mental state changes, then the view might also change. such exercises enable recognition of issues and construct new knowledge.
Hope this make sense...!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Message in movements

 Hi friends. !!
 Reading exploring literature from various sources.. discussing dance through blogs, I noticed that this is the best way to spend time when you are not dancing.  Finding out more enabled me to shed light on something which I thought was a very common thing..and never really gave prominence to it as I had always taken it for granted.
The concept of Proprioception, combined with the other senses, provides us with the internal experience of the body and is partly responsible for the creation of the ‘body-image’. This awareness of the body makes it possible to feel and move the body and reflect on its state and actions: how does the movement feel? Is the movement executed the way we intended it? 
As a dancer, I used to learn a dance step,  by looking at the example given by my teacher. I used to copy those movements and may be  check the reflection in a mirror to see whether the movement looks the same as shown. After repetition of the movement and instructions from the teacher, the execution of the motor action would become easier, faster and more fluent. with regular practice, I would develop a close link between the outcome of the motor action and the proprioception. The movement would then feel natural. Thus the motor action would be stored in my ‘motor memory’, and then no longer I needed a mirror for feedback. 
Now when I teach any step to my students..I realise how this works..every move gives a message to the body.

Relativity of body..mind..soul in a dancing body..!!

According to the French philosopher Henri Bergson, the body is a center of actions and every perception is action-orientated. He considers body and mind to be two separate entities. The mind contains the past, which is stored in memory. The body is an image of the brain that is tied up in the present, by actual matter, affections and action.
 I do not agree with this separation and don’t consider memory to be strictly restrained to the mind.  However, I do agree with his idea of perception, in which present and past are always united. The past, through either conscious or subconscious memory, always intervenes in the perception of the present. 
I strongly believe that body cannot be separated from mind and soul because you cannot exclude your soul from the body while you are being in the sensation of the art of dance or you cannot exclude your mind while moving your body parts consciously and technically. This is very well codified in the ancient Indian tradition of dramaturgy "Natyashastra" as a beautiful phrase, which means 
The feet keeping to time, hands expressing gesture, the eye following the hand with expression, the ear listening to the music- by harmonizing these five elements the mind achieves concentration and at­tains clarity in the very richness of participation. The inner feeling of the dancer is the sixth sense which harnesses these five mental and mechanical elements to create the experience and enjoyment of beauty.
I have clearly understood that one cannot ignore the uniqueness of body mind and soul if one wants to consider dance as an art form. 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Echoes of the Body and Soul

Excerpts from Dr.Kapila Vatsyayan and Dr.Kana Rele's  book Indian Classical Dance.

The history of Indian dance extends from the earliest levels of civilization to the present day..  India's prehistory and proto-history also provide sufficient ecidence of this fact. For example, there is a broken torso of a dancing girl from Mohenjodaro, and beautiful metaphors and similes in the 'Vedas' based on the art of dance. Dance as a profession and as a social activity has been associated witht all significant moments of the life cyle. 
Human body is always taken as the perfect vehicle by the artist, and all the other intenesely human activities were interpreted on the analogy of the human body. It is worth examining the principles of this art. The first principle insisted upon is the influence of enviornment upon the mood of the artist
secondly, the inward look or imagination of the artist by which these thought forms are given shape and develop the actual creative powers.
Thirdly the necessity for the artist to identify his body absolutely with the subject or to merge his own consciousness in aspect of nature which he wishes to interprete. With these processes, the art became less pursuit of beauty than an attempt to realise LIFE which is within us- Life in all its fullness and mystery..thus emerged the doctrine of Body and Soul.. Brahman ( the One divine being hidden in all beings)and Atman (soul). 
This realisation of the one and unique Brahman(God) all pervading which frees us from shakles and we realise that Reality as Sat(being) Cit( consciousness) and Ananda(delight bliss)- Saccidannanda
( Sanskrit term for eternal bliss) This apporach of using body to become one with the Brahman differes from individual to individual.
This approach to the supreme may be attained either through Jnana(Knowledge) or karma( work) or Bhakti( devotion). 
There is deep relation between Human body and the structure of Hindu temple as temples are built on the analogy of human body the basic idea is the BREATH!!!

Eventually, creating a wok of art is a ritual..A workof art is the physicial form within which the Formless Brahman isto be sought  and that would lead to the Ultiate Release - Moksha.(intangible bliss) 

Monday, 20 February 2017

philosophical Stance of Indian classical dance !

My attempt is to understand the philosophical stance of Indian classical dance, seeking which would lead me generate ideas about my project inqury.
As I observe over the two decades much has happened in the field of both dance as performance and also the teaching practices. The dance performance itself has undergone a change on account of change of context, nature of audience,duration of performance, the training and intellectual equipment of the dancer. Cumulatively, this has brought about major transformations in technique, specially in the aspect of the delivery of movement. I would say, present dancers are experimenting with contemporary  Indian dance with classical inspiration.
When it comes to teaching practices, I believe in  the dictum of Bharata ( the author of text NatyaShastara) that "the Shastra (regulations) of Natya(dance) is the Prayaoga Shastra( Practial theory)" that means without having gone through the experience of the movement in his or her body, one cannot teach. Only a competent teacher can give a logical explanation of the practices which includes dicipline with mind action and movement.  With my own regular practice I feel that I can train my body to work in a certain direction, with a passage of time body can be in a state of fitness and it can perform effortlessly with specific gestures and movements.
The Indian dance form (Bharatanataym) orginated in the temples as an act of devotion and considered  the oldest art form. The present study has endeavoured to point out the enormous literature and resource materials have been responsible for the emergence of full -fledged classical style,
Philosphy of the Indian dance is so deep and diverse as I realised from reading various books and journals and at this point I am feeling  there is so much more I recognise what I don't know.  More to follow...

Sunday, 12 February 2017

12/02/2017 Back in action... Module Two begins !!

Hi Friends,
Today, we discussed few interesting topics relating to reflective practices and drafting ROLs and AOLs with some Module one students...how we could incorporate tools for our research such as resources from each other's blog, literature, narratives from various other journals. I feel that regular blogging can suppport and  encourage each one of us to share and understand the challenges involved in the  process of learning.
The brief introduction by Adesola and Helen's incredibe professional journey triggered a spark in me to think about hidden 'Truth'  behind every successful artists the way they engage their professional and personal life and integrate their practices considering different places, culture,people, situations and embarking onto higher education qualifications. The impact of ethics in our practice and people around us,and the ablitity  to distinguish between Personal and Professional practice was something we discussed for a long time. I guess, these are individualistic in nature.
My next focus is to understand  what could be the Proposal Plan for Professional Research Inquiry?  How and from where do I begin my research??
Do share your thoughts and keep blogging. Thanks.