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Special artistes steal show at principals’ meet

delhi Updated: Jul 08, 2009 00:20 IST
Joyeeta Ghosh
Joyeeta Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Special artistes steal show at principals’ meet

Over 850 educationists from across the Capital who attended the 11th Annual Principals’ Meet organised by the

Hindustan Times’

Partnerships for Action in Education (PACE) at the Taj Palace Hotel on Monday were treated to breathtaking performances by young members of Ability Unlimited, the country’s first dance-theatre troupe, which educates, trains and employs people with disabilities.

The event, organised in partnership with Educomp Solutions Ltd., began with the lighting of the lamp by Annapoorna Sehgal, Head-Education, PACE; Guru Syed Sallauddin Pasha, National Award winner for empowering persons with disabilities and Santhosh Kutty, Deputy General Manager, Taj Hotels.

Annapoorna Sehgal thanked the principals for their continued support and encouragement to PACE and HT Next and enumerated the milestones achieved during the last year.

Titled ‘Celebrating Abilities’, the artistes of Ability Unlimited presented a series of spectacular acts choreographed and conceptualised by Guru Pasha.

‘Durga,’ the first presentation, was a Chhau dance from Bengal in which the physically-challenged children wore masks weighing upto 2-3 kgs and danced to the tune of traditional music.

If Bharatanatyam performed by wheelchair-bound and hearing-impaired students sounds a trifle too ambitious, the audience was visibly touched by the show dubbed as the world’s first performance of its kind. That the dancers, who performed flawlessly with their rhythm and smiles intact, can actually dance upto 10 hours at a stretch was an eye-opener.

The artistes then enacted scenes from Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita where they converted the symbols of their disability into tools of creativity, using wheelchairs as chariots and crutches as bows and arrows.

The loud cheer of the audience, which greeted all the acts, spoke volumes for the manner in which they were moved by the courageous and spirited show that made a powerful appeal for inclusiveness, not only in terms of physical ability and disability, but also in terms of harmonising diverse cultures and religions principals’ meet.