Part B: France 


After completing high school, the question arose, what would she do next? Theatre was out of the question. Neither her mother nor she contemplated the idea. But she felt stifled in Greece. She liked languages and traveling.
That's how she decided to go to Paris to study Literature in the Sorbonne University. In Paris where the student movement of May 68 had left profound marks. . At the same time, she attended intensive modern dance seminars as well as courses on theatre arts, ethnology, human psychology (theoretical and practical, with specialization on the body image and its symbolism).

Η Λήδα φοιτήτρια στο Παρίσι

It was there that she first delved into self-research and "body-mind"psychotherapeutic methods-Reich, Gestalt, rebirth, primal scream, bioenergetics and yoga, something that a professor of linguistics had managed to make into a university course. "My first experience with yoga was enough to make me realize that it was exactly what I needed, a complete answer to what my body and my soul needed".

In 1976, she had the chance to travel to Indonesia and it was there, in Bali, where she saw her first performance of a dance akin to Bharata Natyam, one of the most ancient surviving dances in the world, combining poetry, music and dance. She was in awe, and back in Paris, she had a chance to witness an authentic Bharata Natyam performance. She immediately fell in love, and started taking lessons, for a full year, at the Mandapa school, at the 16th arrondissement, with Uma Ramaswamy. Although she had a long history of ballet lessons, Bharata Natyam was completely different, and she still remembers the pain and swelling in her knees - everyone kept telling her it was not for her, and that she'd better stop. But this dance had become part of her, and she didn't give up until problems faded away.

"I feel that the word 'dance' is not enough for Bharata Natyam. It is much more than a dance. It is a way to be taken beyond yourself. A way to see and understand life's reality, a way which is beyond art. Bharata Natyam brings me to the core of myself. Western dance, in comparison, had so little possibilities of communication.."

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This page was last modified on january 1st, 2009