If you think that striking a balance between sensitivity and sensibility is like walking on the razor’s edge, give it a second thought. Srividya Varchaswi, in her interview, comprehends why this combination is extremely crucial for a dancer and how easy it is to nurture this blend of qualities in you with meditation.
Sensitivity and sensibility brings success
Tip #1: How do I know which routine will be best suited?
With intuition, this will happen effortlessly. How to develop your intuition? What worked for me is a regular practice of Surya Namaskaars (sun salutations) and Sudarshan Kriya.
When you are performing on-stage, you have to be sensitive to what is happening. At times, there may be some discomfort in the environment; for example, the music may not play on time, some part of your costume may give you trouble, the audience may be distracted, and so on. If you are only sensitive, you will be overwhelmed by these and become an emotional wreck! Then there are artistes who are very sensible and logical but not sensitive, and so are not in sync with the subtle nuances of the situation. But, a good dancer requires a blend of both sensibility and sensitivity. When I started meditating, I noticed that I could maintain a fine balance of both in my outlook to any situation.
How meditation helps?
TIP#2: I get extremely nervous if something goes wrong with regard to my costume, music, or anything that is beyond my control. How can I get over this?
Since it is anyway out of your control, let go and focus on what is—your dance! See, when you walk up to the stage, you should own it. You should be that confident even while doing a completely wrong routine! It is only when you get nervous that people recognize a mistake. Empower yourself to believe that even with everything else falling apart, your dance is what will enchant the audience.
Both sensitivity and sensibility are a result of being aware. Awareness dawns when you take a few moments to be with yourself in meditation. It nourishes the intellect and also gives strength to handle challenges, bringing about a complete blossoming of the individual. Be it dance, cooking, bringing up children, or even working, this balance of the heart and mind is imperative to success!
In any dance form, sensitivity is towards the audience and sensibility is in using the available resources; striking a balance between the two is what comes through meditation.
Take to a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Course and find your balance of sensitivity and sensibility in dance and life!
Snippets from Srividya’s dancing career
I did my Arangethram (the first official stage performance after completing the seven years of training in Bharatanatyam) in 2000; we had live musicians during this performance. My teacher was playing the Natuvangam (to keep rhythm). In the last piece, Thillana (a rigorous dance that focuses on varied combinations of steps), the singer missed a tala (a beat). One would have to wait 64 beats to get back on track. Luckily, I had the sensitivity and the sensibility on stage to realize what had happened and at that moment could adjust my steps to what I knew would fit into the same off-beat. My teacher was so proud that I could actually pull that off at such a tender age, without the audience even realizing that something was amiss!