Dancing bones! 
Photos courtesy: Vani Madhav 

September 8, 2008 
Odissi dancers Vani Madhav and Sharmila Mukherjee, one from Orissa and other from Bengal, who have made Bangalore their home now, organised a two-day weekend workshop on dance therapy with Dr. Kannan Pugazhendi, whose reputation precedes his name, as doctor of dance! He had helped the Nrityagram girls with bad backs and aches recover and gain strength and use correct stances and one sees the change in Surupa Sen and Bijayini's postures now, having benefited from him, over a sustained period. These dancers used to go Chennai just to take treatment and training under him.  


As many dancers without institutional support can't afford to do that, the two dedicated Odissi dancers of Bangalore, Vani and Sharmila, took it upon themselves to get Dr. Kannan to Bangalore to benefit all. That way, they did not limit Dr. Kannan's efficacy only for their growth and training but helped many enthusiastic Bangaloreans benefit. 
Among seniors who were present were senior Bharatanatyam guru Bhanumati and Kuchipudi star Vyjayanti Kashi. Satyanarayana Raju, the male star-performer of Bharatanatyam rubbed shoulders with dancer Praveen Kumar, best known as a true disciple of that wonderful dancer-guru C V Chandrasekhar. Art patron and connoisseur R V Raghavendra helped co-host the proceedings while all-rounder Sai Venkatesh provided befitting and heart-felt introductions. Pt Gopal Dubey, Seraikella Chhau master and choreographer, who has done much for the form was also present, having made Bangalore his base now. Ashish Mohan Khokar was the chief guest and having just damaged his hamstring muscle was seen on stage with a walking stick and in much discomfort but humoured all by saying he made for a befitting chief guest as the doctor had his first case-study on hand! 

Over four dozen devoted participants and not all of them dancers, made time to attend the workshop, which was a revelation in use of muscles; importance of correct postures; need to develop strength and concepts of what is force and what is power were discussed. Dr. Kannan Pugazhendi makes for a very fetching doctor on stage and his expertise lies in making complex things simple. May his tribe increase so more dancers benefit.