Wednesday, July 28, 2010


This will be short, cause it is late and I am exhausted...

I know that this is way lame-o but my excuses for not updating you with my adventures in India are as follows:

#1- we have no free time
all day is filled with classes and we are VERY scheduled. sometimes I can eat my lunch or dinner really quick and then have a min to check my email....but really not enough time for much of anything

#2- the internet connection is no bueno...that means no good in Spanish...

#3- at night I am (as stated above) exhausted! so if the internet is working i usually check my email and facebook and then crash.

but I wanted to really quick at least let you know...well give you a small idea of what I am doing:

these descriptions are in part pulled off of the Theatre Mitu intensive website.

This is a basic layout of my days...

Every workday starts with a rigorous session of Yoga, preparing the body, mind, and spirit.


Stemming from the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, Carnatic music is one of two main sub-genres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions. The main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in gäyaki (singing) style.

1130 am
Mohiniattam is a traditional South Indian dance form from Kerala, India. This elegant dance is most often meant to be performed as a solo recital by women. The term Mohiniattam comes from the words "mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The word "Mohiniattam" literally means "dance of the enchantress."

Kristy's added definition:
a really strict indian dance form that involves a lot of concentration, leg muscles, eye and hand movements, and bending with the torso. It is not easy...but really interesting. and our teacher Chechie looks beautiful when she dances!...I....well I am working on it.


Kalaripayattu is a martial art with origins in Kerala and practised in that south Indian state and contiguous parts of neighbouring Tamil Nadu. It incorporates strikes, kicks, grappling, choreographed martial art sequences, and weaponry, as well as healing techniques.

This is kicking my butt! LITTERALLY! my body is SO sore! all of us! I dont think that I can really explain the intense training that we are going through for this class. it hurts! I dread and love this class all at the same time

Next week we will also be adding:
Kathakali, deriving from the words "katha" (meaning story) and "kali" (meaning play), is a highly stylized classical Indian dance-drama. This classical Keralan art form employs make-up, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures, and well-defined body movements that are accompanied by music and percussion to present the stories of the greatest Hindu epics. A Kathakali actor uses immense concentration, skill and physical stamina, gained from regimented training based on Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial art of Kerala, to prepare for this demanding art form. Actors never speak, enacting their story purely through the movement of the hands (mudras), facial expressions (rasas), and bodily movements.

This class will provide and facilitate a deep cultural and historical context of South India and Bangalore. This class will focus on the Kannad language (the dominant language of Bangalore and the state of Karnataka), customs and traditions, allowing all participants to engage with our host country in a way that is open and fearless. The class will also consist of continuous outings and trips to further this context.

the "field trips" are on the weekends and have included going into the city, to the slums, to temples, and other various places that I will describe in more depth later on. =)


How does an artist prepare to create work that is rigorously visual, aural, emotional, intellectual and spiritual? This is the core mission of THEATER MITU's WHOLE THEATER training. Led by Theater Mitu Artistic Director, Rubén Polendo along with other company members, this advanced class weaves elements from the classical theater and ritual traditions of Japan, India, Bali, Iran, China, and Mexico into a method of theatrical exploration designed to push western artists in new and unexpected directions. This class further deepens the conversation of culture and performance by engaging the artist in a world conversation while reconciling the relationship between east and west. Focusing on intense physicality, full-bodied vocalization, live music, and powerful tools for connecting theatrical creation and ritual, this class seeks to engage artist in the discipline and rigor of creating theatrically impactful work by exploring THEATER MITU's rigorous training methodology known as the MAJOR STEPS of WHOLE THEATER.

Led by Rubén Polendo and fellow company members, this class will further the conversation of Whole Theater by dissecting it within the perspective of Western Dance, Dance theater and choreography. Taking the idea of WHOLE THEATER from the theoretical to the practical and focusing on useful tools for creation, performance and aesthetics.


some days we have a Japanese BUHTO class instead. this was a class that we were going to take in Thailand but sense that part of the trip was canceled Ruben brought our teacher here so we could still have his classes.

We usually finish up around 11-1130 pm. I shower check email if internet is accessible, and try to write down what happened that day....uaually it is just a bullet pointed list so I can add details later. then I crawl (painfully) into bed around 1230 or 1.

Then start all over again at 730 the next morning.

so yeah, like I said very scheduled - but I am having some great experiences! learning and growing a lot!

there will be more pictures and LOTS of stories to share! I have lots already and I am only 1/2 done with my time here.

Lots of love from India!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Free Day!

day 7 7-25-10 – Sunday day 7
Free Day!
Yay for Sunday! I missed Sunday last week cause I was I was traveling.
I wanted to see if I could find a ward to go to that isn’t too far away, cause it would be awesome to go to church here in India! Alas the internet hasn’t been working, so I had no way of finding a ward to go to.
There were people planning on going into town today around 9 so I got up earlier so I could do some laundry.
The power went out in the middle of my wash. Welcome to india, sometimes the water works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the power works other times it doesn’t. Oh India…So I pulled my very wet clothes out of the washing machine and brought them into my room. I rinsed my clothes out in the shower and then hung them on my canopy bed to dry.
I finished just barley in time. Everyone was leaving together to learn how to get on the bus to ride into Banglore. We walked into Kotonor. It’s a nice little walk – probably just about a mile. Here are some pictures I took on our walk into Kotonor:
and Justin riding:

And us waiting for the bus:
This is the small temple that is across the street from the bus stop:
The busses here are pretty crazy…it costs 15 rupees to ride, but if you don’t have exact change and give them 20 then they will just take the 20. (oh well 5 rupees…what do ya do? That’s like ½ a penny..k not really but still) The busses get pretty crowded as you may be able to tell here:
The women all sit/stand in the front of the bus and the men at the back. Yes it is separated.
We rode the bus into Banglore – to Commercial Street.I spent a little bit of time with Eve and Annie and helped them pick out Sari’s. I decided to go into the gift shop next store while I waited and was reunited with…
My favorite street buddy…Matt!

Matt and I broke off from the other groups of people that we were shopping with and went off to shop. We walked by this boy selling corn – it smelt SO good! I had to get some…
and it was SO YUMMY!!

As we were walking around we saw an AMAZING moth on the ground! It was HUGE! I wanted to catch it! So I could bring it home for little Neeley! I got a plastic bag and chased it down the street and into a store…I then proceeded to chase it around the store. No joke! I am sure the Indians were wondering who the crazy American was that was chasing this moth around. The moth Really didn’t want to be caught and there was a guy that worked at the store that was giving me really nasty looks. So when it flew into the back of the store where I couldn’t get to it I had to give up on it.

Anyway…Let me tell you…I am an AMAZING barter! Lets talk about my bardering skills…for real! I am good at it!

For example:
-There was a young man that was selling knitted tablecloths and things that were hand made- knitted… He was trying to sell me this table cloth and then he said it was 1400 Rupee’s…ha no way…he went down to 13 and then 12 and then I remembered that I don’t even like table clothes. Haha… I started to walk away and it went down to 1000 and 800 and 600, and it keps going down as he followed Matt and I down the street. It he got down to 400…and Matt looks at me with his pleading eyes and said – just buy it Kristy. Fine! So there it was. I bought a table cloth for my mom…it actually is really pretty and I got it for a rocking good deal!
Matt wanted to find some Indian clothes so we found this little shop- he went upstairs to look around and I went downstairs to the shoe shop. When I came back up to the sales guy was in the back grabbing stuff and Matt huridly says to me, “By the way, we are married” HA! – that’s what he had told the sales guy. So we got him some shirts and pants and I bartered for them – so I got him a good deal!
Matt and I trying on some Indian clothes...there was no mirror so we took pictures instead =)

Lets see…other things that I got good deals on today: some bracelets, and some scarf’s
My friend Matt has the most sympathetic heart, he feels bad when I barter with people – because he feels like I am cheating them out of money that they need more than I do. haha
We stopped at a little bakery shop and they had all kinds of pastries – we got a pastry with coconut in it. SO SO GOOD!!! We asked what it was called and they said coconut muffin. Ha, I think it was a coconut pastry not a muffin, but whatev it was good!

We then decided to go and find the bus home.
While looking for the bus station we found this...
Not very often do you see Christian cathedrals in India...but we found one.

We also walked by some men working on a mural - I was really imporessed by their artwork!
We found the bus station and we were told to ask the drivers and bus workers over and over AND OVER again: Kotahnor? Kotahnor? This bus to Kotahnor? To really make sure that we were getting in the right bus. This is matt and I waiting for the bus…while enjoying our pastries.

We almost got on the wrong bus a few times and once we did get on the wrong bus because they said it was the right one and it wasn’t. We finally got on the right one…

Once again India intervenes and Matt went to the back of the bus and I sat next to a new friend...
This is my new friend I met of the bus her name is Mimi. She works in Banglore at a hotel and was on her way home. There was also this cute little family. A mom and grandma with their baby.
SO CUTE!!! she STARED at me with those Big brown eyes the whole bus ride! And then the bus attendant was joking that they should give me the baby to take home with me.

so we made it back to Kotahnor.

Then we went on our way to walk the mile-ish back to Visthar. Good thing I knew where I was going...Matt really had no idea where he was or which way to go. I let him start to lead the way once...that wasn't the best idea. I took over again, turned us around, and we were back on track for getting home.

As we were walking back the sun was going down and it was getting darker. On the way we passed by a temple that was having a festival. Some people in our group had checked it out earlier in the day and they all wanted us to come so Matt and I decided to stop by.

The front entrance was nicely decorated!
Inside was decorated too.
We went in and we were warmly greeted and welcomed by a man who helped put the festival together, he asked us to come in and sit and enjoy the music. They had different 'bands' scheduled to play every hour all day.
If you look at this picture you will notice that most of the people are turned around...
well once again Everyone was starting - they were all very happy that they had Americans at their temple festival!
As Matt and I listened to music I noticed that a lot of the people were beating along to the music. There is an Indian way of counting the Talaums in Indian music which we had learned how to do in music class by Teacher Leeja. So Matt and I joined in, our little hands counting along to the music and some of the Indian people noticed and told their friends they were really excited! There was also a man there with a news looking camera, and he was filming the performers. He then turned the camera and started filming the Americans. HA! I leaned over to Matt and told him, "I am totally fighting the urge to wave at the camera and say 'Hi Mom!' know how people do on the news and etc." hahaha

So there was a break and some people were leaving and Matt and I thought it might be a time to slip out and go home. Right as we got up we were approached and told, "Your lunch is prepared!"

"What?" I said with a smile

"Your food is want to eat?"

Matt and I looked at one another then back to our host, "Um...sure!"

We were then lead out to a tented area with long tables and chairs set up and given seats and leaf plates. Yes the plates are made out of leaves.
can you tell?

They served us was good too! The tradition is after you are done eating you fold your plate over itself in 1/2 so they cant give you more food. funny thing is they keep on bringing more food out and offering you more before you have the chance to finish it and fold it over so they don't give you more. haha.

After we ate we thanked our festival friends and headed back to Visthar.

It was a good day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday in India went like this...

8am got onto the bus and we went out for breakfast – to a sort of fast food place…
this was my breakfast…
cool looking…they were a LOT like scones…but really really thin, and very big and puffy…and yummy! I wish I knew how to make them.

We then went to a temple…
When we got off the bus we had a whole bunch of cute Indian school children to greet us. They all wanted to wave and shake hands and high 5 the Americans. One of the little girls reached out and totally grandma pinched my cheek! HA! It was Adorable!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo!
This is Justin making friends with one of the little boys! BAH!!! SO CUTE!!!

This temple was built around/on top of a cave…so we had to squat to walk around in there which was actually really hard for all of us because we are all very sore from our classes! OUCH!
I took this one picture and then found out we weren’t supposed to take pictures…oopsie. So there is the one. Some temples are totally fine with you taking pictures and others not so much, so you just have to play it by ear.
This was on top of the temple…
they said it was fine to take pictures outside of this one – just not inside. =)
This is Even and Annie talking with a monk who was giving offerings outside of the temple. At bigger temples there are food offerings they give you a leaf with a mixture of rice mush that you see there in the big pot next to the monk. I avoided getting some because Justin has told about how many times he has gotten sick in India in his many travelings here and most of the time it was from temple food. So I did not partake.

And then we went to…
Another temple…! (there is a pattern being established here)
And then…
Another temple!....
are you surprised? these last 2 were actually right next to each other.
At this temple there were some little street vendor people selling things. A man had Henna stamps and a whole bunch of us got henna.
I saw the paisley design and we sold! Haha….I know I am a dork- but I love paisleys!

We then went to a Market…now this is a TRUE Indian market…and its HUGE – This is where everyone goes to do their shopping…
We first went into the bottom floor of a big building and found the flower part of the market...
Piles and bags and TONZ of flowers! of every color and kind.
Oh!...and of course a random COW! in the middle of the walkway of the flower market!
Now of course I am started at EVERYWHERE I go! I smile and head wobble to them and they smile and head wobble back. I was handed flowers by a few men who were selling them - they just wanted to given them to me. Then this man tells me to come here and he starts putting flowers in my hair! I said, "Matt you have to get a picture of this!"
there it is.
My friend Matt was really jealous of all of the attention that I was getting. He wanted free flowers too. haha
look at this!
Can you believe how many flowers!...
This man made this out of flowers
and this guy was making this fancy thing...
In this picture you can kind of tell how big the building is that we were in.
The upper floors were Filled with little shops that sold just about everything and anything! from toys, to baby cribs, to kitchen appliances, and jewlery....AND....
This AWESOME hat that they tried to get MAtt to buy! hahaha! love it!
More market pictures:
look at all of the colors! and the cool makes!

We then headed out to the streets...
Look at this
I love that everyone carries things on their heads! and they will carry a LOT of stuff too!
I am also amazign at how much they fit onto their bikes:
They carry so much! Including people! Here is 3 people on the same motorcycle...or this may be a mo-ped...either way there are lots of them around!
A few times I saw a family of 5 on 1 motorcycle! yep! 2 adults and 3 kids! and I even saw 3 adults and 2 kids! SHEESH! Transportation here in India is CRAZY!!!
We wanted to find fabrics and clothing...
Matt got a shirt and pants made for him. Tailored to fit him. I found some fabric that I loved... this is them making a Sari for me!

Matt got some Jack Fruit
This is Jackfruit...
it kind of tastes like gummy bears. the white ones.

We met back up with our group walking back to the bus we passed this...
Its a children's hospital.
We also passed by a row of urinals...I kid you not, right there in the middle of the sidewalk a row of probably 5 urinals, and there were men using them. the stench was AWFUL...I looks the other way and walked by quickly! NASTY!!!! BLAH!!!!

We got back to the bus and it too us to...Yep! you guessed it...another temple! – This one was a Harre Krishna temple...there were no pictures allowed - so I cant show you how big it was...but it was huge!
There was a HUGE gift shop that just kept going and going. Kind of like at Disneyland when you get off a ride they lead you straight into the food/gift shop and you have to walk clear the heck through there before you can get out. Yeah it was just like that.

This is a picture of my feet at the Haree Krishna temple.
I am standing on shoe bags. Cause when you go to a temple there is a person who takes your shoes, and you have to pay them 1 or 2 Rupees. Some temples have bags and you put your shoes in the bags and they give you a little token so you can re-claim them.

We then went to GM road which has Shopping centers
We went and got dinner...Yep! Here is Mikayla and me...we totally went to Pizza Hut for dinner. and some people went to McDonald's for some fries. haha- sometimes you just need some good ol' American food!
Lilly, me, Jenny and Rachel LOVIN our pizza! Pizza never tasted SO GOOD!
After we ate we walked around a bit.
Matt wanted to get a tshirt that had a random American phrase written on it...we found a few...
then we headed back was a LONG and good day!
This is what my henna looked like btw: pretty cool eh?