By Roxanne Kamayani Gupta
Trade paperback book
198 pages, 8.00 x 10.00″
In the book’s preface, the author recounts this story: “Daya Krishna, one of India’s most distinguished and respected living philosophers, in conversation recently reflected with me upon the nature of intercultural communication. He expressed the view that to reach a true “understanding” between two cultures, one had to fall in love. This book, then, is first of all a love story. . .I traveled halfway around the world to become completely immersed in India, submitting myself to its religious and artistic disciplines. But the love story does not end there. This book is an attempt to share some of the important aspects of the highly developed disciplines I encountered, and to offer new theoretical and practical understandings of what Indian culture offers us in the West.”
The attempt is a success. Dr. Gupta’s book is wonderfully written and replete with instructional and inspirational photographs. Even if you’ve never been consciously interested in Indian classical dance, Gupta’s approach is so welcoming and complete that you’ll most likely find yourself wrapped up in the presentation in no time. The book’s overall tone is finely balanced between insightful instruction and personal recollection and reflection. Color and black-and-white photographs throughout the book help the reader to follow along with yogic/dance moves, as well as to track the author’s immersion and progress through ancient Indian culture; we see her as a student abroad, developing her skills and her “look,” and we see her as she is today; an example of East meeting West in a happy, successful, and reverent confluence of beliefs and influences.
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