Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Teaching The Kids The Sega: The Performance Bank [anecdote and a video]

Teaching the sega to the kids was fun! The sega is the Mauritian folk music/dance, and is comprised of a series of instruments (the 'ravanne', the 'triangle', the 'maravanne' etc.), and is mostly drum-based. Though the bone-structure of the sega is the music- an entity complete in itself; the flesh, the beauty, the energy of the sega arises out of its dance, whereby the dance adds to the completeness of the music.
As all folk dances, it represents a crucial part of social life, and such a social activity sees its ideal, its perfection in a bonfire on the beach, by the setting sun, with the musicians playing and singing while the dancers merge with the sound of the 'ravanne', the energy of the fire, and make one with their skirts that they cavort with flair round their waist.
When i decided to teach the sega to the kids, i was anxious as to their reaction to the music, the dance, and what i was trying to teach them. The sega in essence has to be 'felt', without which, try as one may, one would never be able to learn it. Its a dance about the pulsating energy in each human being, to find it, and to express it. So did i wonder: "What if they can't feel it?"
I remember myself getting 8 dupattas to Vaishwik and using them in guise of skirts while trying to teach them the sega. It looks like the pulsating energy is something that is imbibed in the children and their childish spirit. They quickly felt the music deep within and let the flow and verve animate them.
You can see the results for yourselves!
Through dance, we erased all barriers of age, cultural difference, social difference, language...