The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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In step with fitness

The seven-day Odissi dance workshop (May 19-25) conducted by danseuse Aloka Kanungo concludes on Sunday with over 50 children receiving certificates from the state director, culture, Anup Motilal and organisers Rajya Sangeet Academy.

Four batches of students aged between five and 32, were regularly attending classes from 10am to 5pm on the second floor of the Rabindra Sadan for the last week. Only those with dance experience were able to join the workshop and a large percentage of candidates were from Kanungo’s school Shinjan Nrityalaya. Even the trainers were senior students of Shinjan.

The workshop was aimed primarily to help dancers gain greater physical fitness. The routine took them through footwork, hand and torso movement exercises, which if practised regularly would help them acquire the level of flexibility needed for Odissi.

There is to be a demonstration by participants and a lecture on the importance of yoga and dance on Sunday at the same venue.

“We conducted a similar workshop last year, too, and received a great response. Our aim is to get youngsters interested in our traditional dance forms and also make them aware how yoga and dance can help us overcome stress,” said Kanungo. Yoga, she said, keeps us healthy and increases concentration. “With the blending of the mental and physical forces, it is possible for the atman and paramatman to meet,” she added.

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