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Waltzing past cultural barriers

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2011 01:30 IST
HT Correspondent

When Christina Lynch Markham, an American dancer, took a class on Tuesday for a few hearing-impaired students, she found they followed her without hesitation. She needed no language to communicate.

Hoping to transcend cultural barriers with dance, Markham, who is with The Paul Taylor Dance Company/Taylor 2 (PTDC2), on Wednesday said that India and US should exchange their varied dance techniques to promote cultural engagement. Markham and her co-dancer from the American company, Marc Kahan, are in India for a two-week contemporary dance workshop with the children of Shiamak Davar’s Victory Arts Foundation (VAF), an organisation for differently-abled children.

On the class for the hearing impaired, Markham said: “We communicated through dance. The honesty in their work was exciting to watch.”

The dance workshops have been sponsored by the American Center in Mumbai in collaboration with the Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts (SDIPA). The American cultural envoys will also interact with other dancers from SDIPA.

“Dance is a global medium of expression which can touch people’s lives. This interaction will help students understand the various facets of contemporary dance.

They will also be able to explore their own abilities through these workshops,” said Shiamak Davar, founder, SDIPA.Kahan said that the workshops would be a new experience for everyone.

“We are also learning the Indian dance techniques from instructors at SDIPA. We hope to take back everything we learn and teach it to our colleagues and students at the company in New York,” he added.