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Sunday, March 4, 2012

A workshop to cherish

Ever wondered why childhood is always so special and sweet? Well, surrounded by the twinkling stars, Mary’s Lamb, the Humpty Dumpty, Ringa Ringa Roses and the Teddy Bear, these rhymes brought with them our very first and innocent brush with nature. Today as we have journeyed our ascent in life, it has to be lamented that this first brush remains as an end in itself. In the ever speeding buzz called life, no longer do we stop to have the little sweet nothings with nature!

Without giving scope for impulsive wonder on the necessity for this topic, it is just to point out that students of the Department of Dance, at the University of Hyderabad had a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with nature and get rejuvenated.

The occasion was a four day workshop conducted by Padma Bhushan Prof C.V. Chandrasekhar from Chennai who instilled a much required nature consciousness and reiterated the immense inspiration that dancers ought to draw from nature.
Prof C.V Chandrasekhar is almost an octogenarian (77 to be precise), having a career and experience span of almost thrice the average age of the students he addressed. Yet every morning the students were greeted with his trademark pleasant smile, his enthusiastic appeal and ever agile body sharing the most simple and basic nuances of life and dancing.

That there is nothing in piling up items for performances, but to straighten your fundamentals and adhere to it, that it is not just enough to be a dancer but it comes with an added responsibility of an open and observing heart towards society, nature and other allied subjects, that one should practice theory as strongly as the practical aspects, that choreography need not be realistic but a stylized effort, were just some of the valuable take aways from the interaction with the stalwart.

Working with a group of almost 18 dancers, Prof Chandrasekhar sought to create a visual imagery around the theme of nature – everything larger than life and everything so very optimistic. The beauty of movements was captured through designs in space and time, and colourful combinations of rhythm and melody. The moving water, the still water, the waves, aquatic, amphibian and reptile beings and their puzzling world, the trees, the birds, the seasons et al figured in this experimentation of dance.

Even as the dancers worked in tandem and used this rare opportunity for learning, sharing and bonding, they analyzed their strengths, weakness, body kinetics and expressive talent to the maximum best, for the worth of this unique experience could not be bygone!