The Telegraph
Saturday , June 7 , 2014
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Choreographer roots for dance

- Plea to incorporate dance in curriculum as part of education system

Jorhat, June 6: Jorhat-based dancer and choreographer, Ripunjoy Ghosh, who was recently selected for training in the Shiamak Summer Intensive 2014 in Mumbai, has returned with a mission.

Ripunjoy wants dance to be a part of every school’s curriculum, a part of the education system and not just a hobby or pastime. “As a professional dancer, I can say that people in the Northeast have a natural rhythm in them but this is seldom exposed to the outside world because of lack of training,” he said. Ripunjoy, an alumni of Shiamak Davar International Limited in Mumbai, said he learnt all kinds of dance forms at Shaimak Davar’s Institute of Performing Arts – modern and contemporary, hip hop, yoga, salsa, Shiamak style, ballet, Bollywood jazz, film and linguistics.

So how does plan to go about his mission? “Most of the time I am called by schools to choreograph dances for performances during annual day functions. It is during these times that I make a case for dance to be part of physical education. Almost all the schools here have used my services. After my recent three-week intensive training in Mumbai, which ended on May 25, I have come back with the awareness that I am a human first and a dancer second. It is this awareness that wants me to make dancing a part of education,” he said.

Ripunjoy said from next week he would visit each school and ask for at least two periods to be set aside for dance classes on a trial basis for three months. “If I receive positive feedback from students and parents, then I will ask the school to continue the programme. It is not that all students take to games and sports. Some may seek physical exercise in the form of dance,” he said. The only applicant to make it to the Shiamak Summer Intensive from the Northeast, he was among the 36 who made the cut which included a number of foreigners. Shiamak Davar is internationally renowned as a dancer and has been honoured with a doctorate by the Middlesex University, London for his contribution to the field of dance education and performing arts. “Shiamak Davar is my guru. I revere him and his high ideals and would like to follow him in every way,” Ripunjoy said.

But Shiamak Davar is not the only one under whom Ripunjoy has trained. Terence Lewis, Ashley Lobo, Ganesh Acharya and Sandip Soparrkar are some of the others.

“In 2006 I opened my own academy at Rajamaidam Road here so that others, too, can learn what I have picked up from India’s dancing greats. And I also take classes in the form of workshops and troupe performances all over the state,” he said.

Ripunjoy also has the children of jawans stationed at the Dinjan army camp, Dibrugarh, as his students. For a nominal fee, he takes classes for 10-15 days during vacations so that these children who live far from towns get an opportunity to learn dance like those in towns and cities.

In 2005, he had auditioned for the second season of reality show Dance India Dance and had been among the three selected from the Northeast but failed to qualify in the Calcutta round.

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