IN : French Girl Learns Indian Classical Dance

Jan 9, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: India

Lise Moulet

Lise Moulet


« Today I bought a new skirt for my next performance, a 25 yards one, doubled layered, and I almost fell to the ground when I tried to turn with it… too heavy.

Quick turns are one of the essential techniques to get when one starts a Kathak dance training. You are supposed to be able to turn more than 50 times quickly, rhythmically, and on your left heal. I started to dance Kathak last year when I decided to undertake an intensive dance training in Delhi, India. Kathak is one of the 8 classical dance styles of India…and it is like learning a new language and the culture attached to it.
When I landed in Delhi, I didn’t know who would be my Guru yet. But when I met her, I knew it couldn’t be anyone else.
I trained with Ruby in Delhi like some Kung Fu training in China, in a wooden house on the top of the peak of the opening lotus. Except that I didn’t feel any sensation of solitude or altitude being in Delhi. And the air is a little bit different too. A mix of cow pooh, petrol and plastic. But besides this, it was as special, because an intensive Kathak dance training is not only about dance, drama or music and rhythm – 3 disciplines you need to understand being part of a whole – it is also about how to find a way to reach your deeper self and play with it, express it in a unique way to become the rhythm, to become a character. It is about finding the courage to go further transcending your body and psychic limit.
And I have 3 problems. The first is that I can’t help but acting stupid all the time because, for some very strange reason, I always visualize the comic version of everything Ruby wants from me when I practice role playing. Very fortunately for me, this makes her laugh a lot. The other problem is that I’m “too long” like Ruby says (I’m much taller than her, and than the majority of Indian women AND men). My arms are too stretchy and reach too high in the air and I can’t do certain very quick moves. The last problem is that I’m not very self-confident. And when I say things such as “ok that wasn’t really good”, the normal reaction of any Indian person wanting to be nice is to answer in agreement: “You’re right, it wasn’t really good”, instead of the “It’s ok Lise, you can do it” that I’m used to hearing at home.

But in the end, everything was better. Plus, several people asked me if I was Indian in the subway. Which for me means that I’m maybe not too far in becoming one. If it is possible for an Indian girl to be blond and white skinned. And long. »

Lise Moulet is a dance artist specializes in Kathak, Bollywood and Arabic dances.
She currently trains and performs in France, India, and Canada.

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