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A contemporary dance theatre workshop at Indo-German Mela helped participants loosen up and become more aware of their bodies
Fall to the ground like you're dead then roll on the floor like a baby. Sounds like dancing? Maybe not, but at the contemporary dance theatre workshop in the Indo-German Mela, participants kept an open mind and faithfully followed choreographer Hrishikesh Pawar's instructions.
The workshop began with a practice session, as Pawar took everyone through a set of routine movements. He explained every step with real-life analogies and emphasised on the fluidity of steps. "Reach out with your arm like you're calling out to someone" and other curious instructions kept being repeated through the session.
Satisfied with how everyone grasped the steps, Pawar put on some music and voilà all steps suddenly made perfect sense. Each step merged into the next, forming a contemporary routine set in perfect time to the music. The final outcome brought a look of surprised pleasure on all faces. But that wasn't the end of it. Pawar had participants pair up and perform several dance theatre exercises. While one person kept the eyes closed the partner had to lead him across the room in a dance. This helped improve everyone's awareness of their own body and of the dance space.
In another exercise, the dancers were asked to create and react to each other's postures, creating their own contemporary choreography. The workshop had participants as old as 50 years keeping step with the younger ones. Self conscious to begin with, everyone gradually got comfortable and tried their best to win the instructor's approval. The practice sessions were interspersed with bouts of laughter as some bumbled their way around. With flushed faces from the exercise and all the laughing each participant finally went out to the main mela grounds to perform one last time, lapping up a round of applause from onlookers.
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