Beauty in ability

These artists are a wonderful combination of the extraordinary and ordinary.

The hall fell silent soon after the chief guest’s speech. The audience waited with bated breath for the Abilty unlimited Foundation’s famous dance on wheel chairs.

The lights dimmed and music began. As a cloud of coloured vapour enveloped the stage, a handsome young man appeared on stage. Under his deft steering, the wheel chair appeared more like an exquisite dance prop than a mundane means of getting around. More dancers in white entered the stage.

As melodious Sufi song played in the background, the audience couldn’t take their eyes off the dancers. The dancers’ arms flew in gay abandon and their wheel chairs swirled as if they were part of the bodies.

 Watching them raise their hands in surrender to a higher force and sway their heads, the audience was transported to a mystical world. More dance items, incorporating yoga, Bharatanatyam and contemporary bollywood numbers were performed. When one dancer came too close to the edge of the stage, a collective gasp escaped the audience. But the artiste knew what he was doing and with a confident smile wheeled himself back just in time. The audience responded with loud cheering. Many in the audience were wiping away tears witnessing this rare combination of physical agility, stamina and artistic beauty.

The performers are special indeed and their performance is a tribute to human spirit which soars above adversities.

These young artistes have mesmerised audiences everywhere. Teaching dance to specially abled youngsters is a calling to Syed Pasha, their guru. Pasha’s troupe also has hearing impaired girls. Dance critics say that these special students are so good, there is very little to critique! These artists are a wonderful combination of the extraordinary and ordinary.

Extraordinary because one can only imagine the grit, determination and hard work needed to dance so beautifully when even regular walking is not possible for them. Ordinary because, just like any other bunch of youngsters,  these dancers too are busy pulling each other’s legs behind the stage and reveling in derring-do on stage. They are out to have fun and to entertain others.

Seeing them perform, those with physical difficulties feel inspired to surmount their own disabilities. Many without disabilities realise how trivial their own complaints are. A few get motivated to work with specially abled people and for everyone there is the joy of watching a beautiful dance performance. 

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