Miti Desai

classical dancer, designer & educator

Miti Desai

classical dancer, designer & educator

Miti Desai

Her journey in dance emerged from her journey in design. She studied applied art in Mumbai, after which she went to the United States to study design. She began to grow more and more uncomfortable at the idea of a life that revolved around commercial and financial transactions alone; and that is when she felt an innate urge to engage with and experience design holistically. This was the beginning of her entry into the world of dance: the need to engage with design internally gave rise to a desire to experience design within her body.

She had had a taste of classical dance as a little girl, and dance seemed to be the road through which she could internalise and experience body design. This search for an internal, spiritual and design approach to dance brought her in touch with her teacher, Mandakini Trivedi. Her dance school in Mumbai, Nateshvari Dance Gurukul, is committed to reviving the yogic (holistic and integrated) tradition in Indian dance through the perfection of technique and the perfection of the Self. She also trained briefly in Bauhaus Theatre at the Bauhaus School of Design in Dessau, Germany. That gave her a glimpse into Western theatre, dance and costumes, but her heart was drawn to the multilayered, integrated and philosophical principles in Indian aesthetics. (Source: Dancing towards the point of bliss by Satish Kumar (The Resurgence / The Ecologist)

Miti Desai

Her dancing is a form of self-expression that emerges from an innate passion: from a yearning to engage with something more than the mundane, and towards a possibility of transcendence.

The ancient Indian texts tell us: “From the formless comes the form, and the form takes you back to the formless.” In Indian thought the purpose of life is to elevate, engage, introspect and integrate. This thought is given a form through the actual form of the dance. But the real purpose of dance is for the dancer to understand and express, through the magnificent form, the experience of the formless. In other words, through rigorous training the dancer has the potential to master the form and move inwards to experience the formless and enter a point of bliss (ananda). This to me is a heightened goal and a journey that inspires my inner space.

Ivo Valkenburg

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