Photos courtesy: Vani Madhav
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.
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
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.