THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the curtain began to roll down, the young dancers looked curiously at the audience. Anxiety gave way to joy when they saw wide smiles and waving hands, though the thunderous applause evaded them. The charming girls of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) then rushed to their teachers, who waited near the green room, to share their joy and excitement.
This year, the Kerala University youth festival, which concluded in Kollam on Sunday, was noted for the active presence of the hearing-impaired students of NISH. Besides bagging a couple of prizes, the students won critical acclaims in all the events they participated.
‘’They are here in a participation spirit. Of course, prizes make them happy, but they are not in a run for them,’’ said Sreebha Sreedhar, a faculty member of NISH who accompanied the students.
Besides group dance, the NISH students participated in seven events. The performance of Muneet Anzad in the mimicry competition won critical acclaim for the novelty in theme. Muneet won the third prize in the contest. It was again a proud moment for NISH when Subhash Viswan, a third year BFA student, came third in the sculpture competition. The group song, mono-act, mime, painting and cartoon contests also witnessed the participation of NISH.
‘’The students were given a few weeks’ training to participate in the festival,’ said Swapna P, another faculty member.
‘’Most of the participants were selected based on their performance at the NISH Day, the annual day of the institution,’’ she said.
The dance team of NISH had earlier also won accolades through stage performances and TV programmes. The team members were, Sarah Balu, Theentha Nirmal, Dhanya V, Treesa Tincy KT, Stubymol Joy, Jugunu Thomas, Neethumol Thomas, Neethu K V, Preema Antony and Amritha V S. They are being coached by Chandu, a professional dance master.
‘’It takes more time for them to learn the steps as they cannot hear the music,’’ said Chandu. ‘’They perform on the basis of number of steps and timing. Their interest in dance is amazing,’’ he added.
Thirty-one students of the two graduate programmes run by NISH participated in the youth festival. ‘’This is the first time that NISH made a big presence in the youth festival. The students will be encouraged to participate in more such programmes in future,’’ the teachers said.