Breaking away from tradition

Breaking away from tradition

Contemporary style

Breaking away from tradition

Unlike other graduation ceremonies, the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, which
recently held its Graduation Day, allowed its students to showcase what they had learnt over the last one year of their diploma course through an energetic and creative dance recital.

Proud parents, extended family, friends, ex-students and teachers had gathered at the venue to watch the performances. And the excitement in their eyes was evident. Jayashri, a mother, had come with not only her family but also her friends to watch her daughter take the stage.

“I have seen my daughter really work hard in this course and I have seen her grow not only as a dancer but also as a person. So this day is as special to me as it is to her,” she added.

The graduating students were visibly excited backstage and no one was allowed to talk to them before the performance. But a few did manage to come out to greet their loved ones only for a few seconds and quickly headed back.

Breaking away from the traditional form of dance, ‘Attakkalari’ allows the dancer to gain complete knowledge of each dance form and then understand its principles in this contemporary style.

Eliamma Rao, the manager of education and development at the centre, said, “Attakkalari is a challenge and a very demanding dance form. But it’s only after a student gets through the course that he or she really become more aware of where they are exactly headed. It’s almost like an inner journey.”

This year, the event had a special chief guest, actor and theatre personality Naseeruddin Shah. Incidentally the actor’s daughter Heeba Shah, was one of the graduating students that evening. “It is a special occasion to watch my daughter take the stage and really put her soul and spirit into this form,” he said, while congratulating the entire batch and the staff.

The evening’s recital focussed on the journey taken by the students themselves. They presented the different dance styles that they had learnt through the year.

It began with a bharatanatyam performance, which was followed by a contemporary dance called ‘Organised Chaos’ after which came another piece called ‘Arrivals and Departures’. The real highlight of the evening was the kalaripayattu.

Soon enough, the night made way to the official graduation ceremony and the distribution of certificates.