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Chennai: Bharatanatyam on Wheels

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 18, 2012

Express Features
Last Updated : 18 Jan 2012 08:35:12 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Ability Unlimited Foundation is all set to stage Bharatanatyam on wheel chairs and Sufi Dance on wheel chairs – a unique dance performance by a dance group comprising physically challenged dancers on January 23 and 24 at the Chinmaya Heritage Centre in Chennai.

picutre: Bharatanatyam on Wheels: A freewheeling performance (Source: Santabanta Forum)

picutre: Bharatanatyam on Wheels: A freewheeling performance (Source: Santabanta Forum)

For the first time, Chennai will witness the dance troupe perform two unique dance forms with precision. The dancers are to perform unique feats such as spinning their wheel chairs at a speed of around 200 km/hr with precision.

These shows have captivated thousands of people and have had packed houses across the globe. The troupe is all set to now enthral audiences in Chennai.

Sources close to the troup claim that the performances are bound to transport the audience to a different place, beyond the familiar world of televisions and films. The physically challenged artistes’ innovative, and aesthetically crafted dance-theatre performances are being termed educative, motivating and entertaining by sources who also claim that it is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

The show will be performed at Chinmaya Heritage centre on the January 23 and 24 at 7 pm. Free passes to the shows are available at all Landmark stores in Chennai. (For more details, contact, Santhosh at 98416 38757.)

(Source: 01/18/2012 – | Cities – Chennai)

Comment (by Forum user “007RIKY“): The merit of Ability Unlimited Foundation (Delhi) — as Pasha’s group is known — lies in the fact that the dancers master these traditional forms, but also go beyond them and create new idioms of dance. This fact comes to the fore in Yogajathi where they work yogic postures — including advanced ones — into bharatanatyam moves. Pasha, who hails from a medical family that ministered to the kings of Mysore, explains his dance productions are designed to heal mind and body, and that aesthetics is a by-product.

While introducing an experimental dance production that fuses bharatanatyam and yoga, Syed Salahuddin Pasha pauses to look to his left and right. With a knitted brow and eyes that have turned into tiny slits, he appears to be watching out for intruders. “I do this as a matter of routine. My dancers are self-reliant, and don’t take kindly to people helping them on to the stage,” he tells his bewildered audience, and in the next instant, Pasha’s performers enter on wheelchairs.

All through the programme — “Bharatanatyam and Sufi Dance on Wheels” at Chinmaya Heritage Hall — Pasha reminds his audience that these performers resent being pitied upon. During another interlude, he says: “Judge them by the standards that are applied to able-bodied dancers of the same stripe, and you will see they have merit.” A little later, he belabours the point: “As dancers, they are second to none.”

His dancers don’t let him down — they prove wheels can replace legs. Each of the moves they make was first perfected by Pasha. For 15 years, he spent around six hours daily on wheelchairs, to understand the dynamics of performing these dances.

(Source: 01/30/2012 – Santabanta Forum / Thread: Bharatanatyam on Wheels: A freewheeling performance)

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One Response to “Chennai: Bharatanatyam on Wheels”

  1. Dear ElJay Arem- NAMASKAR. The differently abled Artistes of Ability Unlimited Foundation and myself thank you so much for being part of the innovation and evolution of these world first classical dance on wheel chairs. we are very happy that you were personally there in chennai, India to witness these performance. This article of yours shows the world that you dedication for the ancient India Culture specially practiced by our special artistes.


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