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Choreography merges the Afro-Cuban and Indian culture

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Growing up in India, choreographer Ranjana Warier knew little about Afro-Cuban culture.

“I knew Cuba existed. That was it,” she recalls with a laugh. “I knew there was Cuba, and I knew there was Africa, but I had no exposure whatsoever.”

Today, Warier is the artistic director of “Surya: The Eternal Rhythm,” a project that merges Afro-Cuban and Indian cultures through dance, poetry and music. The show, a 2014 winner of a Knight Arts Challenge grant by the Knight Foundation, will take place Saturday, April 2, at the Wolfson Campus Auditorium at Miami Dade College.

“We all might talk differently, and we might portray things differently, but when you look deep down, it appears to be the same human spirit shining through different kinds of lights,” she says. “That is actually very encouraging, especially in today’s world. Many of us think we’re quite different, and that’s where conflicts start. But when you start understanding diversity a little bit better, you realize how close we are.”

The project started with a poem by Miami-based poet Adrian Castro, who often writes about Afro-Caribbean culture, history and myths. Lissette Mendez, director of Miami Book Fair International, introduced Warier to Castro’s poetry, and his work immediately absorbed her.

She was so moved by one poem, titled “Clay, Chalk and Charcoal” and inspired by the African religion Yoruba, that she based a new choreography on it.

“I lost track of how many times I read it. It’s a like a Renoir, [in] that the longer you look, you start seeing the details and all the different things,” Warier says. “I read it over and over, and each time I felt I was adding one more piece of the puzzle, not knowing what I was putting together. It seemed it had many layers, and as a dancer, I could just feel the rhythm.”

Warier describes her choreography as a “visualization of Afro-Caribbean poetry through Indian dances.” She uses classical and folk Indian styles, not Bollywood. Her show also features the Miami-based Afro-Cuban dance company IFE-ILE. Castro will read the poem before the show, and a panel discussion on the creation of the project will follow the performance.

While developing “Surya,” Warier says she was surprised by how many similarities she found between the two cultures.

“I just want people not to be afraid to collaborate with people who might look very different from you,” Warier says. “Maybe you use that experience to understand their cultures, and hopefully that brings more tolerance. And if not for anything else, it’s good to know more about what else is out there.”

Credits:  Barbara Corbellini Duarte

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Here is all you need to Do to Get a Perfect Figure

Simple steps you can take to get a perfect figure in few days.

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How to get a fit body?
How to get a fit body?.Pixabay

New Delhi, November 8: Do you turn green with envy when you see Miss India’s hourglass figure? Here is a diet chart and workout regime that you must follow to attain that perfect figure and fit body.

Arushi Verma, Co-Founder, FITPASS, and celebrity nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, who is the fitness guru of Miss India World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, suggest how to have a fit body:

* Don’t skip breakfast: Skipping breakfast increases hunger pangs by the end of the day.

* Eat regular meals and use smaller plates: Eating regular meals helps to reduce the temptation to snack on food that is high in fat and sugar.

* Avoid sugar, especially refined sugar.

Sample menu

* Early morning: Water two to three glasses (warm with or without lemon squeezed)

* Breakfast: Plain/unflavoured yogurt with oatmeal or wheat flakes and fresh fruits and seeds or two to three egg whites with avocado, carrot, beets and sweet potato.

* Mid-meal: Coconut water followed by fruits.

* Lunch: Quinoa/rice/chapati with a bowl of vegetables and shredded chicken/lentils.

* Evening: Unsalted nuts followed by fruit or banana and fig smoothie.

* Dinner: Chicken/fish (grilled/roasted) with sautéed vegetables (broccoli/carrots/beans/mushrooms/beets).

Many models have to travel and, hence, are forced to eat out.

While traveling, make healthy diet choices. Order foods such as grilled chicken or fish and avoid having a creamy sauce along with it. Instead of the main course, opt for an appetizer. Always order a salad along with your meal, but choose only low-fat dressings.

* Practise yoga regularly: Yoga is a great form of exercise to maintain a fit body posture and keep muscles toned. Apart from providing a slim figure, yoga is also beneficial for increasing flexibility and core strength of your body.

* Twisting: For an over-all body warm-up and fit body, core twisting is the most effective exercise to lengthen, strengthen, detox and tone your entire body. Being an effective cardio workout, core twisting also helps to eliminate pain, inflammation and internal scar tissue formation.

* Squats: This is one exercise which should be part of everyone’s workout routine — regardless of age, gender or fitness goals. They’re not just for legs; they benefit the whole body in a multitude of ways. Apart from toning and maintaining thigh and bottom muscles, squats also help in increasing entire body strength and muscle, improving circulation, getting rid of cellulite etc.

* Run or just dance: The best way to de-stress your body is to go for a run or just start dancing to your favorite tunes.(IANS)