This is everything Junoon aspires to and is working towards in view of Pedagogy and Productions. Trace our journey from seed to tree to a forest fire!
A MARRIAGE LIKE EVERY OTHER
We marry for love, for passion, for togetherness, for peace, to endure and build something that lasts forever. It's bittersweet, laborious and the biggest transition we will ever make.
Those of us married to our Art; to our loves; to our labour of love, often put up with an unreasonable, volatile, eccentric and exacting partner that won't relent, won't leave, won't let us leave and voila! every now and then, produce the best and bettering versions of us. Hence, we also marry to become better.
When did we give ourselves to them? Why did we give ourselves to them? What ritual, what ceremony bound us together so inextricably?
Ask a girl and she'll tell you it was a girlhood dream, this marriage. To walk down the aisle - a symbol of beauty, elegance and strength. Unflinching. Unguarded. Given away by those that hold her dearest, as bells rung and melodies played and wide eyes cried, awed by her beauty one moment and closed in the next as palms pressed together in prayer for her fortune and future.
Ask an artiste and she'll tell you it was a girlhood dream, this marriage. To leap onto stage - a symbol of beauty, elegance and strength. Unflinching. Unguarded. Watched by those that hold her dearest and will, as rhythm and raga played and unblinking eyes cried, awed by her presence, her movement, her ecstacy, her poise. She builds her future, breathing her dreams into many more than just her.
In Marriage, in Art, she surrenders, she delivers, she hurts, she heals, she dusts herself off and constantly gathers and grows. She has her loudest laugh, her loudest cry, her brightest smile and her toughest days (possibly all at once). In any case, in every case, she returns and conquers.
Brides or Performers, we are Queens, making our way down and up an aisle, a stage, life. This is our moment. Our coming of age. A decision to dance the Dance. Our chance and the biggest chance we'll ever take. With fear, freedom and faith. Give us away, come with us, this is the way - a marriage like no other, for all the right reasons, elevating us, in pain and pleasure.
Landing on feet, bruised and skinned. Soaring with wings, sore but sure.
Because this thing you're married to, is with you as much as you're with it. It takes, yes, every ounce of you and beyond but there's no telling how much more it gives.
Oh to marry...Oh to be married to an Art..
Oh what an irony that it will always set you apart.
(A Junoon for Marriage, in the making.)
TO THOSE THAT BUILD HOMES
Nothing quite encapsulates the warmth and gorgeousness of the women of a dreamy village named Dhasa, nestled in remote Gujarat, than this painting by Project Dharti (www.projectdharti.com) that is empowering women in this rural heartland by nurturing their creative, culinary and artistic skills.
They stand before coloured doors, bearing the widest smiles to welcome you warmly into their homes and hearts; into the households they keep together with so much pride and positivity.
Art can very often be a response to creations of the other Arts. As a nurturer of every Art form related to Classical Dance, Junoon prays our girls will one day Dance an ode to the strength, smiles, beauty, earnestness, hardwork and warmth of the womanhood they have come to define as they stand before doors that remain forever open to those of us hungry for love, Art, peace, togetherness and (inevitably) a simple, mouthwatering home cooked meal.
Building and keeping a home is no easy task. It is an emotional, spiritual, physical and transformational journey. Quite like Classical Dance.
We can't wait to see our girls dance to our women. The Future is ours. The limitlessness of this Blue will tell you.
(The painting is the Art of Meenal Zatakia titled "WELCOME HOME".)
SHYAMA - An eternal dream
Most girls that have journeyed with Indian Classical Dance, have an illusory love affair with this inimitable, inscrutable, irresistible divine but incredibly real paradox named "Lord Krishna".
As dancers, we have embodied the stories of every stage and phase of his life. We are obsessed with his mischief as an infant, his pranks as an adolescent, his acumen and wisdom as an adult, his charm and wit and chivalry and above all, his mystery.
Krishna is an enigma. Unattainable and yet so close to us, every "step" of the way.
With this painting, Project Dharti (www.projectdharti.com) gives us the impetus to continue to hold our dearest SHYAMA in every pipe dream of love and longing. And to therefore, continue to dance to his glory, his constant memory and presence in our hearts.
And although this piece is now SOLD, haven't our hearts been sold on him forever?!
We can't wait for Junoon to prepare the 'Meera's and 'Radha's and 'Gopi's to dance to our beloved SHYAMA.
In an effort to illustrate the making of a Classical Dancer, we are scripting a production titled "TAPASYA". Our research and understanding, once penned down, will be translated into choreography and coordinated Classical movement. This project is the brainchild of our Girls in Grey on THE JUNOON GURUKUL at The Avasara Academy, India.
In India, we tell our children stories that have been passed down generations, acquainting us with characters that are said to belong to the realm of Indian Mythology. These characters, their traits, their circumstances and responses are vital lessons in living and being. Our children are meant to learn from these tales and emulate the good they hear of.
We have, for time immemorial, eulogized these characters by pronouncing them: Divine.
Project Dharti constitutes women who tell their children stories by making these divine characters closer to the latter's age for added context and relatability.
The shenanigans, curiosity and intelligence of Ganesha, the powers of Devi, the responsibility of every other divine being and their fundamental interdependence on and respect for nature are at the core of most storytelling.
Hence, the women of Project Dharti create Art imagining little versions of Goddesses and Gods. Perhaps they see their children in these faces. Perhaps they want their children to be just as divine!
Given just how many little Girls Junoon has the privilege of passing on Classical Dance to, it will be an added privilege to also pass on the divinity that resides in the characters our girls will someday (not so far into the future) dance to! After all, every story told is a story to be danced.
These adorable Art pieces are available for purchase on Project Dharti's site - www.projectdharti.com/shop
Along with convincing our Girls of the interconnectedness and interdependence of the Arts, Junoon is also constantly trying to help Girls and Women from the different offshoots of Junoon connect over their respective Arts and artistic creations.
This painting by Project Dharti named "PEACEFUL PINK" made us want to dance to it. The Beginner batch of The Junoon Gurukul will begin to explore the connection between Dance and Painting; between brushes and strokes and movement; between colours and expression; between visuals on a canvas and visuals in the air; between shapes and lines on paper and shapes and lines that the body moulds into and creates.
Since their practice and performance routine this time round is stylized to the idea of "PEACE", what could be more fitting than a radiant and rosy Buddha, meditating upon a lotus in full bloom, for inspiration. Their Dance - technique and artistry - will reflect a serenity that only Art can bring; one that the enlightened one himself tried to give to us, lesser mortals. This, as the Girls, begin to blossom as Dancers.
We want our Girls who are making a beginning with Classical Dance to dream in colours when they dance. And to find calm, in the midst of that vibrant explosion. "PEACE" is a painting that moves us and then, gets us moving...
Stay tuned as they connect, reflect, practice and extend the "PEACE" they have gathered...
(This painting is available for purchase on Project Dharti's site - www.projectdharti.com/shop)
This is The Professor's Special with Mr. Gardner, currently based in the United Kingdom.
We have the privilege of learning how to adapt Classical Literature for Classical Dance from a man who is a fountainhead of knowledge, wisdom and advice.
His love of Literature is only rivalled by his passion for teaching it and inculcating that truest love for it in whosoever sits before him.
Live the journey with us and see where we've made a beginning, courtesy our beloved, respected, revered Prof. 🤍
Thank you Mr. Gardner! For making our Junoon more informed, more refined, more evolved and more Classical than ever!