Story-telling through belly-dancing

In an hour-long performance this weekend, students of Anubhooti academy will present their very first production The Lost Tales, which showcases the evolution of the dance form

Belly-dancing, while graceful, is also one of the toughest dance forms there is to learn. Priyasha Deochake fell in love with it about seven years ago and her only aim since has been to change the way the dance form is perceived in the city and the country. She started her academy, Anubhooti about three years ago to spread belly dancing among Punekars. The program this weekend will be presented in a unique English and Marathi combination to connect to a larger audience. Commentary during the performance will reveal interesting bits of information about belly dancing to educate an audience that may have had little exposure to it.

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Priyasha has been considering an event like this for a long time. She’s always felt that this dance form doesn’t get the respect it deserves, and that if the audience were to be presented with the origins and its real purpose, it might make a difference. It took her about eight months of research, before she even began choreographing. Forming the concept and rehearsals started three months ago.

“Our biggest challenge was to stick to the original style. It is very easy to get carried away by the different versions of a dance style that we often see through videos or on the television. There is always a temptation to mix something from other styles as well. Since this dance form has always been a folk art, the movements are very limited in the beginning. Making the performance interesting with a limited vocabulary of steps was really a task,” she explains. The performance has a total of 10 dancers and one host. Even though it is a pure dance program, it will be presented in a unique manner to keep the audience hooked, she adds.

Priyasha is a post-graduate in biotechnology, and worked full-time in the healthcare industry until three years ago. She also works with a school where she trains children in dance, is a part of the Dance in Parkinson’s project, runs her academy and is also learning Odissi on the side. Dance is a strong component of what, she feels, makes her whole. “The best part about being dancer is that my work is fun. I look forward to every single day with equal excitement. Dance has been my anchor and helped me get through the toughest of times,” she says. “It gives me strength and ability to face the world. It also keeps me healthy, happy and content,” she adds.

When: September 24, 6.30 pm onwards
 Where: Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru Auditorim, Ghole Road

salonee.mistry@goldensparrow.com

Originally published on The Golden Sparrow

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