When dance moved them

When dance moved them

When dance moved them

Students of the first and second year of diploma in movement arts and mixed media at Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts presented some captivating dance performances for two days in a row. They skillfully showcased the best of what their mentor Irene van Zeeland taught them during the course.

The first year students put up a zealous show comprising both classical ballet and contemporary dance. “They presented what we have been working on in class on a daily basis. Some had no experience in either of the styles when they started out six months back and I am immensely proud of what they have achieved so far. For the ballet, I chose to show a centre adagio, turning exercises across the diagonal, a petit allegro (small jumps) and a grand allegro (big jumps). For contemporary, I showed a heavily condensed class consisting of a warm up phrase, a travelling phrase, a jump phrase and a short sequence to the song ‘Demons’,” detailed Irene.

“The students were like giant sponges absorbing everything I told them, and each in their own unique way translated that into their bodies,” she added.

Chetan from the first year diploma course said, “Irene’s way of teaching us all the techniques in ballet and contemporary dance were very different. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She gave each one of us individual attention and never gave up on us, rather she helped us work on and strengthen our weak areas.” The students put their best foot forward in presenting vibrant and graceful moves on stage.

On the second day, the second year students came up with a captivating presentation in Attakkalari’s premises in Wilson Garden. Said Irene, “Over the last six months, I have had the pleasure of meeting 60 wonderfully eager and dedicated students in this course.

Teaching them the basics of classical ballet and exploring contemporary dance with them was a great experience. Besides spending some intense hours with them in the studios working on dance techniques, I’ve also had the pleasure of teaching them the basic principles of dance pedagogy and arts management. As a whole, this was a very fulfilling endeavour.”

I have created the piece ‘Love Trials’ with 15 students from the second year. The piece is our response to all the ugliness and hate that we see in this world everyday. We all deserve a little more love and a little more kindness for ourselves and for the people around us. From individual stories, letters and poems, we have made a collage of movement phrases that hopefully leaves the audience with a peaceful, calm and pleasant afterglow on watching it.”

Anjali A R, a second year student, said, “Attending Irene’s classes was equal to reading a book. The lessons were so engaging and she didn’t just teach us how to dance but also to love and enjoy the art. I am so happy that I was able to savour this experience of learning from her.”

Following the performances, the students bid Irene an emotional farewell through a touching performance and expressed their appreciation over her lessons.