Using dance to break gender myths

"Art has been my medium of understanding and expressing myself. My activism comes in the form of dance. Having learnt Bharatnatyam, an Indian Classical Dance form all my childhood, made way for me to get acquainted with Indian Expressionist Dancing. Growing up, I did not feel the need to categorize any action, activity or choice into binary genders. Eventually, I realized that's how I perceived my gender as well. I refuse to restrict myself to one binary and portray characteristics of both binaries either simultaneously or one after the other. While I believed it was only my train of thought, at around the age of 21 with the help of the internet and communication, I learnt of the term 'gender fluid' and the many people that associate themselves with this spectrum. That's where I found my belonging. Unfortunately, there is no end to the misunderstanding that arises around the term "Gender Fluidity". People often associate gender orientation with sexual orientation. They assume that being gender fluid naturally implies that I must be pansexual or bisexual. Even people from the community have believed that a gender orientation like mine does not exist. It was this lack of awareness and representation that made me want to voice myself. I chose to use art as my medium for bringing about change. I started presenting acts on many social issues varying from gender and sexual orientation to body understanding and menstruation. I use the grammar and knowledge of Indian Classical Dance forms and conjugate it with contemporary ideas completing it with the use of appropriate props, allowing people to think and learn for themselves. Putting my art out there for the members and allies of the community to witness and appreciate allows me to put forth my beliefs, my ideologies and my opinions. The love and support I have received from the huge numbers of people that show up at all community events in Hyderabad is enormous. Art has given us all the space to express ourselves without restriction. Restriction, I believe, is the biggest sin ever committed; irrespective of the form it comes in."

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