CHENNAI:”Intrinsic and integral,” is how performer, choreographer, and researcher Rekha Tandon describes the connection between dance and yoga. She also believes that it hasn’t been embraced as an integral component in traditional training. To address and shed light on the background, technique and embodiment of the Odissi dance form, Rekha has authored the book titled, ‘Dance as Yoga’, and will be in conversation with city-based contemporary dancer and choreographer Preethi Athreya as part of a book discussion curated by Prakriti foundation, today.
Dance and yoga belong to a common tradition of ‘Sadhana’ in India. “It’s an active engagement with working on your own body and mind to arrive at greater happiness, clarity, and fulfillment. In the context of dance and yoga, keeping this connection is also the most direct way to excellence,” shares the danseuse, who is the artistic director and co-founder of Dance Routes.
“In the mid-1980s, when I was fairly new to Odissi, I got interested in the connection between Odisha temple sculpture and Odissi dance, and through that, yogic philosophy. Kapila Vatsyayan was somebody I would see often in New Delhi, so exploring her books and writings began early, which eventually led to doing a PhD in dance studies,” shares Rekha whose first book ‘Odissi – A dance of sculpture’ was co-authored with Michael Weston. “Dance as Yoga deals with my later work, looking at Odissi through the methods of dance studies,” she explains.