What is ‘RASA’? By: Julianne Reynolds
Documentary filmmaking is like a dance, filled with unexpected moments and yet art merges through it, as if the camera does the dance, and the filmmaker is the tool for the bhava to paint the picture into the lense.
ROMANSKI FILMS has set up production on Kauai to film the internationally known dancer from Rajasthan, India, Colleena Shakti. She is tall and walks with the ease of of not only a dancer, but a sculptured piece of sacred art carved into the temple walls of Orissa. She holds an ancient tradition of the Odissi-dance, with respect and integrity. What we are to discover is the dance is an act of devotion making her dancing mesmerizing, but who is she?
Bhava is the space or span of free energy, when the mind is empty, the horizon before all the thoughts come into the mind. This energy is what makes a film have Rasa! It’s day two filming Colleena, as she teaches the sacred Odissi dance from India. The dance is a mythological story of gods and goddess, inbued with folklore from the ancient days of temple dancing. Playing with light and soft movements of the camera’s aperature, the element of surprise keeps the camera rolling and the camera crew filled with bhava. There is a sense of tension, during the classes, as sweat drips from the crest of one of the students chin, and a limping leg from another student bends her into the edge of giving up; but the women push through, like the seed that sprouts into a tree. Colleena has bridged the western world, for the Eastern-yogic principles of a disciplined mind, teaching the dance as way for a deeper inner understanding of our limitless capabilities.
As with most of Romanski Films documentary projects, stepping into the unknown is the key to our creativity, unfolding with wit, humor and bhava. This is an amazing project about the life of a western girl, awakened into her true bhava, which she found through Odissi dance.
Life moves through her like a dance. She comes alive when performing the Odissi dance; nothing stands in between her and the essence of devotion. The freshness of her spirit, and losing everything to the dance is intoxicating. The camera doesn’t stop rolling……….action, take 5!
Colleena Shakti – The Art of Odissi Dance.