Akademi at Arts in Parliament: Alarippu

Alarippu is a ritualistic dance symbolising the blossoming of the body through gentle movements of the eyes, neck and limbs. The movements are typical of the Bharatanatyam style engaging in tempo variations climaxing in a short finale.

It’s rare to be able to see such a wide diversity of South Asian dance under one roof, rarer still that it’s free and the first ever time to be able to see it in historic Westminster Hall, in the Houses of Parliament. This is the third of seven pieces we saw yesterday. The kids were fantastic and I caught the eye of their mother who was justifiably bursting with pride. Moments like that make my work so fantastic.

On the flip side, because of where it was there were some problems getting the shots. Although I positioned myself in the place I thought would get the best images, the full view was often obscured by a guy with two cameras in the front row. So is life.
When back home I discovered the following in my email;

Responding to David Cameron’s comments today that suggest Indian dance is not an appropriate form of exercise for school children, Mira Kaushik, Director of acclaimed South Asian dance organisation Akademi says:

David Cameron is right Indian dance is not a sport. While dance has significant health and social benefits, it should not be part of the sport curriculum. His comments highlight a major problem in the current curriculum that classes dance as sport. This does a disservice to both sport and dance and needs to be addressed by the Coalition. Dance must be recognised as an art form like art and drama and should be included as part of a well rounded arts education to inspire the artists of the future.

“We have trained some of the foremost dancers in the UK including Akram Khan, who performed in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Dance can help young people reach their potential and achieve greatness, but it is not a sport.”

It made me realise I should be snapping portraits of such people as I meet them. So is life.