Negotiating Values

Of late, I have been thinking a lot about the implications of cultural values in the in the teaching/learning process. When I started my dance training in the US/Canada, the system under which I learned was more or less on the conservative side, I imagine it was [somewhat] modeled after the Guru-Shishya parampara system in India. The expected behaviors were made clear from the very beginning: how we addressed our teachers/Gurus, how we treated the physical dance space, our dress, attitudes, etc. The learning expanded beyond the classroom and permeated into our day-to-day lives. Even from a young age we had to learn to develop the necessary discipline to incorporate dance into our daily activities. Our teachers/Gurus had a much larger role in our lives than just learning movements in a classroom. When I began traveling to India, transitioning into that system was not that difficult since that grounding had been established from early on. Despite having been born and raised outside of India, I never questioned the system under which I learned, rather I rationalized it as part of the process of the classical arts and accepted it as the way, really the only way to imbibe the essence of the art form. I learned what I was taught and left it to my teachers to determine what I would learn and when. I completely surrendered to this system with full faith.

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SonaliChaukaHello Readers!!! I am so happy to finally launch ‘odissinomad,’ – a blog that I have been thinking about for the last couple of years to finally put to the page my own personal journey in dance, and some of the questions and concerns I have along the way. For those of you who read ‘Global Rasika,’ [] this is far less academic/research – oriented and more of my own personal musings, though I do imagine there will be some overlap here and there as far as some of these issues are concerned. So yes, it is a bit of an indulgence, but one that I hope others may find engaging. Welcome to my virtual world, and Happy Reading!

Bhubaneswar: April 10, 2017