For the next few weeks I will be publishing excerpts from my forthcoming memoir Always With You.
Each excerpt will also have an insight into and the significance of the excerpt. (See below)
A paragraph from Chapter 7
One evening, after a long day at work, Jeremy brought in an old cassette player that I had asked him for as we had been told that listening to music could be a good way to relax. After he had gone, I chose a tape at random from the selection he had brought for me. It was an invocation to the Hindu God Krishna and as I heard the melodious sounds of the flute and the tabla, something inside me moved. I felt compelled to stand up and to dance. It had been a very long time since I had last danced and I wasn’t exactly steady on my feet. My legs and arms shook from exhaustion and the medication I was on. Still, I persevered.
I closed my eyes as I listened to the beautiful voice of the Kathak expert, Pandit Birju Maharaj.
Ananda ranga sagaram……Namami Krishna nagaram
Of many colours – just like the ocean……I bow to him – Krishna – the noble one
As I listened to the evocative Sanskrit lyrics describing Krishna – his distinctive blue skin, his smiling face, the peacock feather in his hair – something just took over. I let the rhythm guide me, my body recalling the choreography as if summoning it up from my depths of my being. I found that my hands and feet seemed to remember where to go, undirected by my mind and entirely of their own accord. It was as if, in some long-forgotten part of my body, the gestures and movements were still perfectly imprinted, just waiting to be summoned again. I had forgotten how much I loved to dance! As I moved, my body gently lifted and lilted to the music and something deep within me stirred.
It was not my finest performance, not by a long shot, and yet, for the first time in ages I felt alive. There was a glimmer of hope.
Significance of this excerpt:
Whilst in the Priory hospital – Jeremy would come and see me everyday. These were dark days. On this one occasion he brought me some music to listen to. Having put dance on the back burner for so many years to focus on my career – coming back to dance when I was at my lowest was one of my saving graces. It became a lifeline – and ultimately brought me back to both good physical and mental health – and to a career path that has been a huge part of my life for over 15 years.
Look out for Excerpt 6 coming soon