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Updated: March 22, 2013 19:45 IST

The body and the mind

Vishnupriya Bhandaram
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Dr. I. Dinakara and dancer Rajeswari Photo: Vishnupriya Bhandaram
Dr. I. Dinakara and dancer Rajeswari Photo: Vishnupriya Bhandaram

Rajeswari Sainath and Dr. I. Dinakar will collaborate to understand dance through the circuits of the brain

Downing generous glasses of nimbu-paani at Rajeswari Sainath’s residence not just cooled our body, but also our frame of mind as Rajeswari Sainath dressed impeccably in a blue and gold sari let us in on her latest experimental-venture, a neuronal choreography along with a lec-dem by Dr. I. Dinakar. Rajeswari explains her perception of dance and says that it isn’t necessarily about mythology, you can experiment without losing the classism and this venture is all about experimenting and educating. “Dance has an authority to adapt to any topic,” smiles Rajeswari. Dance, she says is emotional, philosophical and medical. “Through this venture, I want to focus upon the biology and philosophy of dance,” she says.

The idea for neuronal choreography came about six months ago, when Rajeswari had invited Dr. Dinakar to speak at her event. His insight into the idea of dance as something that stems from the brain, excited her. “I thought of collaborating with him. The neuro-system gives us pleasure in the form of nritta and abhinaya and true dance emerges when there is an engaging affair between both the physical and emotional experience,” she says. The core idea for this choreography is to stand out at as a jugalbandi between dance and the brain – where you understand the biological nuances behind a physical movement or an idea. Dr. Dinakar, a retired surgeon and now consultant neuro-surgen at Yashoda Hospital is exploring the ideas of neurophilosophy. “We think that dance is physical, but the point we’re trying to make is that dance takes place in your brain first, that includes every move and every gesture,” he says. It is known that brain activity controls our movements, but I wish to explore the areas of intent, which fall under a larger purview of neurophilosophy. “The initiation of happiness, of an idea inside the brain,” he smiles and taps his temples. In the hopes of not making it a didactical lecture, Rajeswari along with her disciples will present a dance, after which Dr. Dinakar will provide the cerebral basic of various facets of dance.

“Basics of brain anatomy and certain aspects of dance like rhythm will be explained,” he says. It took the duo six months to develop this idea and the aim is to educating people about the beauty of the body, mind and intellect. “Students who pursue a creative form, often perform better in academics, this has been well-established, but this needs to be constantly reinforced in people’s minds,” says Dr. Dinakar.

Quintessentially, this dance programme will see the fine arts and pure sciences collaborate; Dr. Dinakar quotes C. P. Snow, English chemist and novelist who predicted that the “two cultures of modern society”, science and humanities will soon merge. Dr. Dinakar finds the day nearing and considers this show to be one step closer.

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