Excerpts from the book “RUKMIN DEVI”-a life by Leela Samson
“If we revive the art forms we merely revive a dead body. If we revive the spirit, we not only revive the form, but also become the source of new art forms, which will be as beautiful as any that man has created. People speak of creating a new art form. In every field of art in India, efforts are being made in this direction. The only wise thing the artist can do is not to express his own idea of art, but instead allow the art to flow through him. The growth of art is not creativity, it is evolution. When we are free and alive we are naturally creative. If we are capable of tapping that eternal source within ourselves, we are creative. We must ditinguish between invention and creation. Invention is of the mind; creation is of the mind and spirit. It is more cosmic. In the latter there is energy and power.
In order that we create the beautiful and give it a body, we develop technique. It is a discipline. It is a most curious thing-this learning to achieve control in order to be free. We have to be controlled in order to be uncontrolled, so to speak. A river cannot flow unless it has banks. From control, from discipline we grow and evolve into something greater than that which we have learnt. We use the technique in order to forget the technique.
Since dance is an art which is expressed through the body, this is at once its danger and its glory. In the dance the body has to become so non-physical, that they who behold it forget the body as a physical entity. The moment there is personality; there is a degrading and sensuality sets in. It is very important to direct it to a higher purpose. It is a marvelous art, for it has not only to express emotion through the physical body. This is why I call dance-the music of the body. It lives in the limbs of the dancer. It is, so to speak, the ‘sukshma sharira’ of the invisible body of ‘tala’, which in music is the dance of sound.”