Tuesday December 12, 2017
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Choreography merges the Afro-Cuban and Indian culture

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Image source: defenceforumindia.com

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)

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Mexican-Punjabis relation through dance

Mexican-Punjabi is a vanishing tribe

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mexican-punjabis
the performance held on 10th and 11th april credits: kalw.org

BY MEGHA SHARMA

The United States had always been an open land to possibilities. It is visited by a huge number of immigrants every year. California which is not only a land of renowned universities, it consists of various fertile farmlands which gave opportunity to numerous Indians who wanted to have a hand in the agricultural field.

It is recorded that through Canada many people from Punjabi communities came here to grow peach and plums. However, restrictive immigration stratagem didn’t allow these outsiders to find a wife in their countries. As a result, what came out were interracial marriages of these refugees and the native Mexican women who used to work in the farms.

This gave rise to cultural amalgamation and this intermixing is now at the end of its league as the generations of this sub-culture are reaching the end of their lives. To overcome such a drastic loss a new dance series “Half and Halves” has been organised.

This dance series is a result of pairing up of the “Dance and drum company” (specialising in Bhangra) based in San Francisco and the Ensembles Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco (focussed on the traditional Mexican Dance) to showcase the cultural mix.

The show is a series of dances depicting the cultural ties and also exploring the marriages in the early 20th Century, which created a unique multiplicity of cultural engagements.

The dance is not a regular rehearsal for the traditional Mexicans but inculcate a fusion of the two styles emerging at last as collaborative force.

A record of the dialogues shared with the children of this mixed race is presented in the dances. This traditional fusion is also depicted in the cremation practices. It is registered that “Even though the mothers were Catholic and the fathers were for the most part Sikh, they found a way to merge their traditions while still staying true to their religions. Like the story of a Sikh father who was cremated, and then his ashes laid to rest in the grave next to his wife.”

The couples shared eternal love based on joyful intermingling of their professions and a mutual love for dance. While talking of the communication they would share it is said that “Foreign language is an apt metaphor for the show’s deeper meaning, because these couples didn’t share a native language — they communicated through English.”

a Punjabi-Mexican family
a Punjabi-Mexican family

The dancers from both the troupes try to learn each other’s dance form by learning a certain gesture one day or a different move another. The artistic director of Duniya surprisingly tells of this crucial juncture in the crossing of these cultures as being negotiated for a long time. Herself being an offspring of this race, she considers it to be a significant part in the lives if these Mexican-Indian.

Megha is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her Masters in English and has also done her studies in German Language. Twitter: @meghash06510344

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Traditional dance representing cross-cultural connection of India and Paisley

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image source: abhinaya.org

Paisley’s cross-cultural connections took centre stage in a unique blend of traditional and fusion style dance celebrating Indian culture and heritage.

The annual Abhinaya Dance Showcase – held in Paisley for the first time in support of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 – saw almost 80 students of all ages from the West of Scotland perform classical Indian style Bharatanatyam and contemporary dance in front of a packed audience.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director even put a spotlight on Paisley’s ambitions by lighting the traditional festival lamp for the opening ceremony of the event.
The youngest dancers from the Abhinaya Dance Academy then took to the stage, starting a fast-paced extravaganza that featured a traditional peacock dance and fusion style dance-ercise.

The event also saw 15 senior students receive Salangai Pooja, the traditional ankle bells worn by dancers that have completed formal study of Bharatanatyam.

Paisley’s Indian roots are best known through the Paisley Pattern, the town’s global brand which descended from the original kashmiri shawls, made famous by the town’s weavers.

Earlier this year the Paisley Pattern featured in the cross-cultural fashion show in Paisley Abbey in a showcase of students’ work from India and their Scottish counterparts in Glasgow Kelvin College.

And while the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is retelling Paisley’s unique story of its one time place at the centre of the global textile industry, the town is also building upon its diverse cultural scene.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, said: “We’ve been getting out into the community finding out what makes Paisley’s culture and discovering some unique gems showcasing the town’s past but also present and future.

“The Abhinaya show was a fantastic mix of Indian and contemporary dance styles, a perfect combination showcasing the town’s cross-cultural links.

“Paisley’s connection to India is important for the town. Our global brand – the Paisley Pattern – is a significant part of our town’s weaving heritage and instantly recognisable today.

“The iconic design, which descended from the original kashmiri shawls, made an enormous impact on the town’s economy during the 1800s, and it’s a key part of the town’s ambitious regeneration plans and the bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”

Mrs Esther Sunija Binu of Abhinaya Dance Academy said: “We were all so proud to showcase the South Asian culture and dance to the town and bringing people from multicultural backgrounds together through culture.

“On behalf of the Abhinaya Dance Academy I would like to thank everyone who has supported us to make this Dance Showcase a grand and a memorable event, especially Jean Cameron, Abhinaya’s dance students, Paisley Town Hall and the Big Lottery Fund. I also like to thank everyone for the appreciative and positive comments after the show; this will encourage students to perform at higher levels.

Credits: http://m.barrheadnews.com/