Diaspora Dialogues trigger — sacred geography

From: Shobana Jeyasingh
Date: 21 November 2010 17:03:45 GMT
To: Malavika Sarukkai
Subject: Re: hello

Dear Malavika

So true what you say about the sacred geography of India. One breathes this around places like the Mylapore temple at dusk and of course in the spiritual coherence of everyday life in India.

Britain too has its sacred geography in Celtic centres like Lindisfarne and Iona and in the habits of pilgrimage to its great cathedrals like Canterbury, York and Winchester. However it is music rather than dance that connect us to this tradition. Now, of course, this ancient configurations are not in the foreground because UK is basically a secular country. Sadly the body, dancing or otherwise, does not figure much in the western spiritual quest!

It is great to have this cyber conversation with you. If you pass through London and have time to meet do let me know.

Warm Regards

On 19 Nov 2010, at 13:17, Malavika Sarukkai wrote:

Dear Shobana,

It was nice to hear from you as also to see your work and specially to hear you speak. For many years I have heard a lot about you and the direction you are taking dance in. I thought your talk very lucidly mapped the trajectory of your journey.

Dance has been many journeys for me too. I guess living in the sacred geography that is India the ‘sacred moment’ with its many interpretations is ever present. I do agree, that geographies define choreographies. It would be very interesting to speak more about this.

I do appreciate your thoughts on silence and reflection. There is much to seek and to find.

With best wishes,


On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 11:14 PM, Shobana Jeyasingh wrote:

Dear Malavika,

I am sorry that I couldn't be there for your talk at the NCPA since I had been booked to leave India that morning.

Thank you very much for attending our performance and “choreogeographies”. It was a rare pleasure to see you there since I am a great admirer of your Bharatha Natyam performance.

I have been thinking about your question re silence. I guess as a choreographer my process has thought, silence and reflection but what I want to express through the body is the angst and turbulence of urban living. My aim is not to take the onlooker into a place of transcendence but rather to a heightened recognition of the body under pressure.

I hope this makes sense!

Kind Regards