S elcouth, according to Shiamak Davar, means ‘rare,’ and the performance his group put on under that name is certainly that. Rare, as in rarely has something as ambitious and accomplished been seen on the Indian stage.
Contemporary dance has now been around for over four decades. Brought in by lone pioneers like Astad Deboo, it is practiced by a small number of groups which survive because their rarity value ensures a certain number of corporate entertainment programmes every month. Most of these groups are quite abysmal, lacking in both conceptualisation and execution. I wasn’t a fan of Deboo either, but in recent years his working to Indian themes rather than abstract movements, plus his effort to bring in fusion between Indian classical dance forms and contemporary dance, has resulted in some quite remarkable works.
Shiamak Davar himself has been through the rigorous grind of classical ballet under the watchful eye of Tushna Dallas, another Parsi like him. After he finished his formal training, he embraced contemporary dance, and soon started a school to impart training in it. This has been a huge success story, with classes mushrooming everywhere, and hundreds of students enrolled all over the place.
There are different ways to cope up with problems, balance out life, find inner peace and regain energy. One such way is movement therapy that is based on the premise of the mind-body connection. The use of movement as a therapeutic method can be dated back to the earliest periods of human history. Yet, people are unaware about it. We spoke to Mumbai-based movement therapist Dilshad Patel, who explains what movement therapy is all about and how can it be a helpful tool in today’s healthcare.
What kind of problem is movement therapy useful for?
Movement therapy can be used for diverse populations. Every issue does not necessarily have a solution. Movement therapists work as allied health professionals to help patients find the best possible outcome in dealing with a problem or issue at hand. I have worked with patients suffering from chronic conditions like heart disease, lung problems, Parkinson’s disease and cancer to individuals who to want to cope up with daily issues like stress, anxietyand fear.
How is movement therapy different from other therapies like yoga?
Yoga makes use of definitive postures or asanas which help the person in improving health. So to benefit completely the person has to attain those specific postures. Movement therapy doesn’t have definitive postures. All movements are organic and come from the client. So first we understand what the client’s issue is through non-verbal communication and then we kind of fine-tune their existing movement patterns. We assist them in experiencing different gesture/postures and body movement while making them comfortable and engaging them. We read, interpret and then offer solutions by subtle changes to the clients existing movement patterns