Created on 2022-05-21 17:46
Published on 2022-05-21 18:15
𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘉𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘺𝘢𝘮 𝘈𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘉𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩
At Manah Wellness, we believe that better mental health is not just a medical issue or workplace issue. Its a fundamental right that every person deserves and should get support with. And popular culture, art, dance and music play a big role in building a movement where something that is taboo, or at the fringes, becomes main stream, because of the groundswell of support.
Bharatanatyam dance is an art form from ancient India that has grown in popularity around the world.
Bharatanatyam is a combination of dance, music, drama and poetry. It is an ancient art form that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. Bharatanatyam integrates the three elements: Nritta (pure movement), Nritya (expressive dance) and Natya (dance-drama). These elements can be thought of as three different ways to express yourself through your body.
Nritta is the first phase of Bharatanatyam where you focus on technical aspects such as footwork, hand gestures, facial expressions etc. Nritya allows you to focus on expressing your emotions with your entire body while Natya gives you even more freedom by allowing you to portray complex stories through dance-dramas.
Depression: Spoken Word and Bharatanatyam
Do you know what depression feels like?
Isha Parupudi and Sophia Salingaros attempt to answer this question through the medium of Bharathanatyam, set to a moving spoken word poem by Rage Tench. Depression, a condition that affects 300 million people worldwide……. and yet, hardly understood. This piece is a powerful portrayal of the lives of people dealing with depression; a theme that is relevant today, important to discuss.https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7101815129079379511
Stepping across the boundaries of traditional Bharatanatyam, the dancers use the power of Nritya (expression) to depict the feelings and actions of someone dealing with depression and mental health issues. A common motif of picking oneself up runs through the piece, representing an action that one affected by depression must do every day.
Anxiety – The Heart Races
Srinidhi Raghavan and Sahasra Sambamoorthi collaborate to bring us a Bharatanatyam based web series – The Mirror – on important social issues in our times. In this episode (part of a three part series, they highlight anxiety and mental health https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8986463089672657721
More about Srinidhi Raghavan at www.srinidhiraghavan.com
Acceptance, Unconditional Love and Support – A Carer’s Perspective
Finding dignity tells the tale of a daughter’s journey with schizo-phrenia. As the daughter grapples with her symptoms and withdraws from friends and family, the audience will watch the mother struggle with the complex emotions before realising that treatment, together with acceptance and un-conditional love, are crucial for her daughter’s recovery.
“Only when we embrace the journey of recovery as a ‘new normal’ can we come together and enable all, regardless of mental ill-ness, to live a purposeful life; a life filled with dignity,” says the Singapore based artist, Mrs Lalitha Venkatasubramanian
Amma, the emotional journey of postpartum in a new mother
Amma, by Aparna Satheesan, is a unique and creative Bharatanatyam dance that portrays the emotional journey of postpartum in a new mother.
The artist Aparna Satheesan says “Ever since I became a mother in 2020, I was planning to do a dance project on motherhood. But when I went through the postpartum and saw what my friends have been through, it gave me a different perspective on motherhood itself. The physical, mental and emotional changes that some mothers go through is way different from what we have portrayed in Bharatanatyam before. This is my humble attempt to bring in an awareness of those postpartum emotions and changes that a new mother experiences, through Bharatanatyam”.https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7798758165209346504
She also added how her family and friends helped her during difficult times, especially during Covid, which had made it easier for her, but it is not the same for a lot of mothers. Through her art, she is conveying a strong message to society on the awareness of postpartum emotions and how society and, most importantly, the family can support them in this journey.
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Do you know of any other artist that uses dance form to promote mental health? Tag them or comment below. Also, if you are an artist, musician, dancer or a creative person, we would be delighted to collaborate. Do reach out!
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