Dance

Healing is her calling

Zia Nath, inspired by Gurdjieff sacred dance 25 years ago, says she has no fear of failure

Zia Nath from Mumbai presented Realms of Dance, a blend of whirling and Odissi at Pyramid Valley International, off Kanakapura. She was part of the congress at Global Festival of Spiritual Sciences (GFSS) organised by Thriive Art & Soul, an online portal that connects alternative health and wellness practitioners from across the globe. Zia Nath who has been a whirler ever since she witnessed Gurdjieff sacred dance 25 years ago, transmitted waves of ecstasy and serenity to all corners of the giant pyramid at the valley. She speaks to The Hindu about her two decade old journey in various sacred dances.

What attracted you to Gurdjieff dance?

As a teenager I was dancing for Shiamak Davar dance company. It was during that time that I was spellbound by a team of Gurdjieff performers who were dancing at a meditation resort. I instantly experienced quietness and felt I had come home (internally). This set me in motion towards learning spiritual dances from various cultures. I then studied Sufi work from teachers across Europe and America.

Featuring therapists
  • Thriive offers a platform for movement, art, sound, behavioural, energy and other alternative therapists, counsellors, yoga instructors etc. to create a profile page of their own on its website.
  • For registrations visit thriive.in

What took you to learning Odissi?

As an ancient classical dance form of India; one that has a direct lineage from lord Shiva’s tandav nritya, Odissi interests me. While its tribhangi postures are deeply feminine, chowk is utterly masculine. Hence the form provides great opportunity for a dancer to move between the masculine and the feminine.

A paramedical practitioner by profession, how do you take time off for dance?

I have two professions and I want to hang on to them both. As a therapist, I carry out carniosacral therapy which is restoring fluid circulation, enhancing nerve functioning, body movement etc. Both have holistic approach to life and are in tune with who I am.

How do you achieve stillness when you whirl?

Only when you think do you get distracted. The structure of the brain is such that if thinking is done in the frontal brain, there is a separate region for body control.

When one immerses in dance, achieving balance or silencing the mind happens naturally as there is no requirement to think.

Was there any plan when you took a plunge into sacred dances?

There was a deep calling and one had to walk towards it. In fact, there was no choice.

Everything happened one at a time. I cannot even say I did it for the joy of dancing, because, when it comes to spirituality ‘joy’ is a frivolous term. Here you walk in the dark without knowing what is going to unfold next. Yet it constantly evolves.

Therefore, all I did was to surrender to the process and only discover. In the presence of such a strong calling, there is no room for thoughts of failure or even for fear of future.

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Printable version | May 24, 2020 8:14:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/healing-is-her-calling/article25122981.ece

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