I got in love with India almost 10 years ago on my second trip there and my first time in Varanasi.
At that time, I wasn’t already into yoga (more into clubbing) and India fascinated me for the same reason it has a special place in the imagination of most people: an exotic, colourful, mysterious country, most of the times impossible to understand fully for a westerner.
Even though I was on my backpacking trip and I wanted to see more places as possible, when I arrived in Varanasi, I felt something quiet unusual.
I couldn’t sleep properly and I was waking up every morning before 4am, with the urge to go out on the ghats by the river Ganges and see life (and death) unfolding through their daily rituals.
More than that, I was hearing, or better feeling, most of the time, especially in the early mornings, a subtle, strong and continuous “Om” sound resonating through all my body. It seems to me that the sound was coming from the city itself, from every stone and drop of the water. I was very rational and in need of a scientific evidence for everything at that time, so I didn’t gave so much importance to that.
Years after that experience, I started feeling attracted by learning yoga and I started going to India every year to study it, and maybe there is a connection from that first glimpse of oneness and the need to learn more about it.
What happened is that, going to practice yoga and becoming a full time “yoga photographer” (I hate that definition) in my times in Mysore I’ve been so busy that probably I missed the reason I was so attracted by India, that was discovering more about this unique place.
That’s why, when I decided to start my project about movement and movers, I had no doubt. India has to be the my first stop.
I feel the need of trying to capture India in my videography and photography and show its amazing art of movements. Like yoga, or like any style of traditional indian dance, or like disciplines that you can find only here, such as mallakhamb (the original pole dance) and kalarippayattu (the martial art that is supposed to be even older than Kong Fu).
Which other country can give me the opportunity to show disciplines that have more than 3000 years of history and are still flourishing around the world (according to recent surveys only in the US there are more than 20 million yoga practitioners)?
I want to show who is following the tradition and who is breaking it, or bending it. I want to show locals and foreigners. I want to show saints and sinners.
While I’m organising my trip and finding a list of people I will include in my project, I’m so excited I feel I can’t wait.
Less than one month and we start.
India, I’m coming back to you.
With new lenses, and new eyes.