Special act in every way

Special act in every way

It was a rare moment when the audience witnessed wheelchairs transforming into chariots. The students of Ability Unlimited Foundation showcased the impossible when they performed shirshasana and bharatanatyam on the wheelchair in a show at the Leela Palace recently.

Trained by guru Syed Sallaudin Pasha, the students not only performed complex yoga asanas but also maintained perfect sense of rhythm and timing while dancing. “I don’t teach them like physically-challenged people, I teach them like they can do everything.

They have performed in several countries and people have been enthralled with their performances. Most of these children are neglected and belong to humble backgrounds. I try and bring them into the mainstream and teach them art through touch therapy and that is how their sense of rhythm is so strong. There are very few organisations which are working to change the mental block that people have against disability. In northern states, they think a disabled person is also mentally unstable. Today, most of the children I have taught have become art directors and are earning well,” says Syed.

The performance began with a soothing Sufi dance number and it was surprising to see how the performers spun their wheelchairs to replicate the Sufi dance form. It was as if the wheelchair was not a hindrance to their dedication and energy. This was followed by a bharatanatyam number and surprisingly, the girls who accompanied the boys for the dance were hearing-impaired. However, it was not even once that they lost a beat or missed a step. The touch therapy has instilled the perfect sense of timing in them. The yoga act was an awe-inspiring one and the audience was spellbound to see performers doing complex asanas on the wheelchair. Essaying the Bhagavad Gita on the wheelchairs added another feather to their cap. The stunts done by the performers were portrayed perfectly and the coordination between the artistes added to the brilliant show.

Appreciation rained on the performers from all quarters and the audience was touched by their spirit and courage.

“It was unbelievable. They are special in all ways. The way they performed goes on to show how proficient they are in what they do. They are no less than professional dancers and it’s high time that we recognise them as talented professionals instead of  pitying them. They are independent, artistic people,” says Shehnaz, who was there at the show.

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