Odissi dancer Akshiti Roychowdhury conducts workshop on Body Conditioning at The Creative Arts
The Creative Arts recently organised a Workshop on Body Conditioning by Odissi dancer Akshiti Roychowdhury at their Gobinda Banerjee Lane outlet. The workshop is part of the larger work, called holistic training, where people from non-theatre backgrounds, take up theatre as a means of healing, self-development and development of communication skills.
“The Workshop on Body Conditioning focuses on the insides of the body- the actors learn more about strengthening their bodies and the alignment of their muscles,” says Ramanjit Kaur, the founder of The Creative Arts Studio.
Akshiti Roychowdhury, who received training in Odissi from Nrityagram Dance Village, Bangalore, conducted the workshop with the help of a dance mudra called Pataka and navrasas. The participants were made into a group and were asked to perform a story, choosing any one or two rasas from Shringara, Karuna, Veera, Rudra, Hasya, Bhaya and Shanta, among others.
“This was my first workshop as a dancer and rather than teaching, I just shared my experiences with the participants. Body conditioning refers to the exercises that increases the ability of your body but it is not like working out. Dance needs a certain kind of focus and I wanted them to understand the beauty of just being in the moment," says Akshiti.
“I am happy that the workshop was received so well. Dance is also a language, a way of expressing oneself- it is the hidden language of the heart, mind and soul and I am grateful that I have dance in my life, not just words,” she adds.
While some chose to depict friendship, others chose to portray love. Some tapped into the patriotic emotion by narrating a story based on the surgical strikes and Pulwana attacks.
Saroj Tivary, a retired school teacher and Vinita Poddar, a home maker performed a story with Karuna and Shringar rasa about a wounded bird. “In our story, me and my friend save a wounded bird and are divided in our opinion about whether we should let it stay or set it free,” says participant Saroj Tivary.
Anjana Chopra, home maker and Kamal Ahluwalia, a school teacher chose Veer and Karuna rasa conveyed the plight of a country divided by religion and war through their performance. “We conveyed that these wars and surgical strikes are not leading us anywhere. The normal citizens are the people who suffer. It is everybody’s loss,” says Anjana.