Saturday, January 24, 2009

KalaAnantarupah -Mime for the mind by Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy

Mime for the mind
Express  yourself  Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy’s mime leans towards classical abhinaya
 Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy, a trained artist and takes classes in mime. And we had to try a session. “For mime I like to work one-on-one for it helps me to focus completely on the student.”
So we start. His mime leans more towards classical abhinaya. His class is usually a one-hour schedule, but we choose a 20-minute session where he helps me get through basic exercises that also “help a dancer and an actor improve expressions”.
First is the jaw exercise. You stand straight and breathe in really deep and then breathe out with force and then bend forward. You repeat the same side ways too. That is not all. You have to open your jaw out when you breathe out. Easy but the breathing has to be done in rhythm and with all your strength. Though it takes a bit of effort to co-ordinate so many movements at one count, it is really refreshing.
Next is the facial expression exercise, where he has a set of 10 exercises. “Aerobics is for the body but theatre and mime is for the mind. It helps you to be more lively and alert even in your daily life,” explains  Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy.
For lung power
Now it is time for me to balance on one leg and raise my hands in slow motion and recite “Om” and then hold the position for as long as possible.
After initial fumbling and toppling,   Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy  is kind enough to permit me to stand on both my feet. “This one helps increase your lung power and also body control,” he says.
After a couple of minutes, it is time to stretch those thigh muscles. The very thought of it has made my legs ache. But   Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy  is patient and determined to make this lazy body move. So we start. At the count of five we stretch our legs side ways and then sit down on one side really slow. Ouch! The thighs are screaming by now.
“Take the support of the ground to rise up again and don’t bend your knee when you sit or stand,” he instructs. And we do this a couple of times. Finally I give up and prefer to become a spectator and admire this dancer’s agility.
By now 20 minutes are up. “These are just the very basics. It takes four to five classes for the body to become flexible. But as you go on, you will stop feeling the pain and the muscles too will be toned to do these and more complex exercises,” explains   Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy .  Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy runs the dance and theatre school at his residence in R.T. Nagar. Call 9886065752 for details.

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