Visually impaired dancers showcase a world of talent
- G Ulaganathan
Photos courtesy: Reva University
May 24, 2019
The School of Performing Arts at Reva University celebrated World Dance Day in a unique way on 29th of April. The theme of this event was 'Dance & Spirituality.' In the morning, there was a seminar with two expert speakers / dance gurus, Dr. Padmaja Suresh and Dr. Yashoda Thakore. The afternoon session, imaginatively curated by the new director of the Department of Performing Arts, Dr. Vidya Kumari Shimladka, an eminent Bharatanatyam dancer herself, included two outstanding performances.
The program began with a Kathak presentation by the disciples of Mysore Nagaraj. Nagaraj, through a series of sequences, traced the history of Kathak dance style from the ancient times till the present. Then there was a brilliant group presentation by the visually-impaired artistes of Articulate Ability, Bengaluru. These boys and girls who were either partially or fully blind took the stage with confidence and it was amazing how they moved around with immaculate precision. The large hall filled with nearly a thousand students, and led by the staff and Chancellor M. Shyama Raju and Vice Chancellor Dr. Kulkarni, watched in total silence and awe, these talented dancers dancing with abandon. The program ended with a meticulous and delightful Bharatanatyam performance by the Bharatanjali dance troupe of renowned Guru B. Bhanumathi.
This year, the Reva University's Department of Performing Arts decided to take dance to new and unusual places and so had an 'Outreach' program. The dance department students visited an old age home - Little Sisters of the Poor - in the morning. Here the students danced and sang for the inhabitants of the old age home who were overjoyed to witness something they had not seen earlier.
The same evening, another team of dancers went to the orphanage, Bosco Mane, and performed for the vivacious little wonders there. The children had a wonderful time interacting with the team. The next day, continuing the spirit and celebration of World Dance Day, yet another team of dancers went to Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology and performed for the patients and care-givers of the hospital. According to Vidya Shimladka, it was "truly a humbling experience for all of us."
G. Ulaganathan is a senior writer and journalist based in Bangalore.