Updated: Oct 25, 2018
#AlaMaud Meet Ipshita Rajesh.
At the premiere of the talk show A la Maud, December 7 in Uppsala, Sweden, there will be a catwalk with models living in Uppsala. All ages over 18, all ethnicities, genders, bodies and styles are invited. The theme for this catwalk is Svartvitt (Black-and-white) and the models are invited to share an outfit in black and/or white with a connecting personal story. In this blog you can meet some of them and read their stories.
As a child, I was a very poor eater, and almost always was sick and unwell. One could count the bones in my body - that's how scrawny I was. My mother was always worried for me and tried everything to make me healthy. And then one day she came up with the most brilliant idea. And that's where this story begins.
My brilliant mother decided that if I were to dance for at least two hours a week, I would feel hungry out of exhaustion, and therefore dance was the way I would become healthy. I think her plan worked, but what it really brought out was my love for dance. It was my way to stay sane amidst all the competition - academic or professional there is in a buzzing, bustling, jostling city like Mumbai. I didn't have to think twice when it was time for me to chose a career path - I knew I wanted to dance professionally.
But somewhere in between continuing to train, I must have gotten carried away by peer-pressure, and swayed towards becoming a Chartered Accountant, a profession prestigious in the Commonwealth countries, crunching numbers all day. I was studying at the University and working at one of the leading multinationals simultaneously, and I had stopped dancing for almost a year. I had turned into Miss Grumpy - angry, irritable, frustrated all the time. I had to take a step back to think. That's when I realised what it was; I didn't have the one thing that made me happy - dance. I shut tight my Chartered Accountancy books, quit my job, and dived straight back into dancing, training intensively, picking up as many skills I needed.
It was for my first professional solo dance-theatre performance of 90 minutes' non-stop dancing on stage that I got this costume stitched. With a black-and-whitish-gold silk sari as it's base, parts of it can be replaced with different coloured textiles. It is as well travelled as I am, and has seen stages in Mumbai, Norway, France, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, and hopefully many more.
And that is the story of this black costume - along with the sweat, make-up stains, warmth of the stage-lights, and musical vibrations, it also has weaved within it numerous stories; the story of my journey as a professional dance-theatre artist, and the stories that I portray through my dance.