Wheels of life! - The New Indian Express

Wheels of life!

Published: 24th November 2012 11:38 AM

Last Updated: 24th November 2012 11:38 AM

Imagine being wheelchair-bound, and performing Bharatanatyam or yoga on stage for hours! Syed Salauddin Pasha has made that possible. The world famous dance theatre for differently abled, Ability Unlimited Foundation is staging “Bharatanatyam On Wheel Chairs on Saturday 24 at 6:30 pm at HICC, Novotel.

The performance will also set a Guinness World Record for holding performances that include Bharatnatyam, Sufi, Yoga and enactment of Bhawad Gita on wheel chairs by differently-abled artistes in a single night.

Innovated and choreographed by Guru Syed Sallauddin Pasha, recipient of National and International awards for showcasing indomitable spirit of differently abled persons across the globe. Encouraging such skill and creating opportunity is the need of the hour.

“It is thrilling to watch my students, who are no less than any performer. Spinning in the wheelchair, they use their strength to execute the act smoothly,” says Syed Salauddin Pasha, who is known as the Father of Indian Therapeutic Theatre.

“Compared to the speed of accomplished ballet dancers, our dancers on wheel chairs move faster. The wheels can astound everyone with a moving speed of up to 150 to 200 kilometres per hour. Our artistes have mastered this art form. They do not need anybody’s mercy but all they need is an opportunity,” he says.

His dancers don’t let him down – they prove wheels can replace legs. Each of the moves they make was first perfected by Pasha. For 15 years, he spent around six hours daily on wheelchairs, to understand the dynamics of performing.

Ability Unlimited keeps expanding its repertoire of choreographies constantly, which now includes apart from the very popular Ramayana on wheels, martial arts, Sufi dance, Durga, Bhagawad Gita, Panchatantra Tales, etc. Many of these choreographies, have won a number of international and national awards. Curiously, Pasha equates Sufi mysticism with Hindu Advaitism. The common roots of religious thoughts seem so self-evident to Pasha. “Look at word taxonomy: Puran(a) and the Quran; or the movements of namaz posture and the surya namaskar posture”

Pasha, who is based in New Delhi, dons many hats. He is also a recipient of National Award from the President of India for his outstanding contribution in the field of empowerment of people with disabilities.

He has his name listed in the Limca Book of World Records for creating 100 dance-theatre productions and 10,000 performances by people with disabilities across the globe.

Dance on Wheels, will be performed at HICC today, 6:30 pm onwards.

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