Dance as therapy

  • Lifestyle
  • Monday, 21 Mar 2011

ABILITY Unlimited (AU) offers dance, theatre and choreography classes, summer dance workshops, theatre-art camps, teacher training workshops and residencies across India.

It also conducts training programmes for disabled students on a commercial basis.

However, the troupe’s biggest achievement has been to use dance as medicine for the disabled.

“Moving to music is therapeutic for the body and uplifting to the spirit,” says a project coordinator with AU. “Dance pushes physical, mental and emotional boundaries.”

The group promotes awareness in Therapeutic Theatre Projects and workshops as a form of therapy for physically and mentally challenged, the visually- and hearing-impaired, emotionally disturbed people and others with special needs.

AU carries out diverse dynamic training programmes for special educators, dance therapists, social workers and mental health professionals focusing on Asian dance, drama and yoga therapy through innovative techniques.

Under its outreach programmes, the outfit conducts “motivational” performances for the corporate sector. “Our performances are crafted to motivate company employees and make them realise their organisational potential,” says AU founder Syed Salauddin Pasha. Staff members are often unaware of their own abilities, he says, and seeing disabled artistes perform so well motivates them to push themselves further, and make optimum use of their own potential and capabilities.

The troupe has explored both traditional and contemporary dance theatre for its corporate workshops. Each production is researched, conceived, directed and choreographed with ancient Indian traditional techniques, and therapeutic music and movements. This creates an intimate interface with the audiences and also provides for a performance rich in positive experiences.

Related Story: Medicine for the disabled

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