Nestled along the Baltic Bay, the warmth, love and simplicity really struck me from the moment I landed at Riga.
Latvian folks are very warm, friendly and humble.
The participants of my workshop were of varied age groups and profession, but had one common thread - love for Bharatanatyam.
It amazed me that they had so much commitment and enthusiasm for the art form. Each one of them came in well-prepared for the dance workshop both in attitude and attire!
The participants in advance level had requested me to teach them an item composed by Oothukadu Venkatakavi!
Plus they wanted a portion of the workshop covering chapters from Natyashastra specifically relating to Nritta - pure dance and certain nuances about Abhinaya.
Over the next two days, I taught the core group of students the famous Oothukaduvenkatakavi's composition 'Neeradhasamanilakrishna' in Jayanthasri.
The students came with a good understanding of the composer and a few of his compositions and I introduced them to some finer nuances of abhinaya interlaced with nritta portion
Their sincerity and thirst to learn with humility struck a deep chord in me.
Almost all participants attempt to live with the complete moorings that is required of a dancer. They were constantly willing to endear the process of learning.
On the next day, the stage was set for my performance of "Tripura -The Divine feminine" and it was extremely well received.
The audience did not move till the very end.
The following day, as a part of the International Yoga Day event I was invited to a press conference to talk about yoga and dance.
This press conference was well attended by local journalists, academics and people from the local tourism, commerce and industry.
The long walk on the butter-like sand of the serene Baltic sea, Latvia's love for Indian culture and dance, the amber shopping and beautiful fragrant peonies made my visit a special one.
I eagerly look forward to be back in Latvia some time in the future.