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Dazzling Dance on Wheels

Dazzling Dance on Wheels

‘Dazzling Dance on Wheels’ enthrals Bangaloreans
A CURTAIN-RAISER TO MOBILITY INDIA’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Mobility India kicked of its 20th Anniversary celebrations with a unique dance programme at the Good Shepherd Auditorium on Sunday July 13th, 2014. Called ‘Dazzling Dance on Wheels’, the programme was presented by Ability Unlimited Foundation (AUF), New Delhi.

AUF is an internationally acclaimed troupe of differently abled artistes that has made it into the ‘Guinness World Records’ and ‘Limca Book of World Records’ for creating 100 dance theatre productions and 10,000 performances by persons with disabilities across the globe.  An ensemble of singularly gifted performers, the AUF has a rich repertoire that draws on Bharatanatyam, Bhagwad Gita, Sufi Dance and Yoga – staged brilliantly by wheelchair-bound artistes. AUF’s choreography has been receiving rave reviews in the media as ‘a masterpiece merging drama with dance’, ‘a new natya shastra for the differently abled’ and ‘a cosmic experience’.

The evening started at with a welcome note by the President of Mobility India, Ms. Ramola Joseph. This was followed by an introduction about Mobility India, and its 20 years journey, presented by its Director, Ms. Albina Shankar. Ms. Shankar noted that Mobility India had come a long way, since its inception 20 years ago as a two member team, to the present day 150 member team. The story of Mobility India’s journey was also told on behalf of some of the service users whose life had been changed by Mobility India’s interventions. The Chief Guest of the event was Mr Jaivibhava Swamy, Director, Directorate of Welfare of Disabled & Senior Citizens, Government of Karnataka.

The evening was a wonderful display of courage and determination, as the dances took to stage presenting one after the other breath taking performances. The show started with a Sufi Dance, wherein the wheelchair was seamlessly transformed into the Sufi dancer’s costume. This was followed by a performance on Bhagwad Gita, with a very energetic and good looking lead, Krishna on crutches. The team than went on to demonstrate how the little nuances of Bharatnatyam could be presented on wheelchairs. The dancers then showcased a sword fight, where sparks were seen flying on stage, each time the two dancers took on to each other. The evening ended with a light hearted western dance performance to the famous A R Rehman song Jai Ho, which was sung live by a visually impaired couple. The performance left many an audience member emotionally charged, making it a memorable evening indeed. 

A visibly excited Ms Albina Shankar, Director, Mobility India, who has been with the institution, in various capacities, since its inception, says, “AUF is the brain-child of Guruji Syed Salladdin Pasha. This incredible venture of his brings hope, confidence, dignity and zeal to people with disabilities around the world. Here is a highly innovative, out-the-world form of performing art, based on therapeutic education methodology, where dance, music, rhythm, story-telling and yoga, all converge so harmoniously. This grand effort of Guruji Pasha comes as a prominent milestone on the rugged road to the empowerment of persons with disabilities. Indeed, there could be no better way to ring in MI’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations!”

Mobility India (MI) established in August 1994, has been a progressive force in bringing about a change in the disability, rehabilitation and development sector with a focus on empowerment, inclusion and participation of People With Disabilities. ‘Dazzling Dance on Wheels’ was the first in a series of three events that MI has planned between July and August, in the run-up to its 20th Anniversary Celebrations. MI will utilize the proceeds from the event to support services that it extends in areas such as education for children with disabilities to be in school, rehabilitation services in particular prosthetics, orthotics, wheelchairs and therapy, with a view to facilitating a better quality of life for the people with disabilities, especially for the poor and disadvantaged sections of society living in rural areas.

MI, in association with a few multi-speciality hospitals, is also slated to arrange a free ‘Preventive Health Screening Programme’ for the under-privileged in and around JP Nagar, Jayanagar and adjoining areas of South Bangalore, on July 25th and 26th. Finally, on August 2nd, the Anniversary get-together of staff and their families and well-wishers will be held at the MI premises at JP Nagar.

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