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Saturday, 23 March 2013 | Pioneer

Israeli choreographer Shaked Dagan will spend two months in Challal, Himachal Pradesh, along with artistes from Denmark, USA, Poland and Canada. They will work on a performance piece to be presented in schools across India

She is in India for the third time for a unique art project, ‘2nd Home India.’ Under the project the artistes from different nationalities will combine their perspectives and talents and produce a communicative and interactive performance piece, to be presented in schools and shows around India. Israeli choreographer, dancer and teacher Shaked Dagan is one of them. The other women will be from Denmark, USA, Poland and Canada. All of them will be staying for over two months in Challal in Himachal Pradesh, they will offer the local community master classes and share their expertise. The artistes will also have a chance to learn from the Indian teachers. “We will also conduct workshops, debates and more interactive programmes inviting the local people to come on stage and share their views on various topics, and most importantly on the theme of the performance,” shared Shaked.

The dancer is already in India and has been in touch with other artistes over the mails. They have decided to dedicate their performance to a woman’s life. “Though our show we will be presenting our perspective on the lives of women in different countries. The show will be a mix of dance, drama, music and we will highlight the issues and concerns related to women. Not just that, we will be talking about her feelings, emotions and times when she feels neglected. The performance will inspire all women to look within, recognise their strengths and motivate one another,” explained Shaked and added that it is for the first time she is working on such a theme. “I never thought about this issue until recently. I think the reason why I didn’t work specifically on women issues was because in Israel the situation is not as urgent as it is in India. In the last few days the media reports about violence and crime against women were so extensive that they did reach the entire world and I too read reports on the issues concerning women in India. Being a woman myself I thought that I should do something that makes an impact and delivers a right message. We decided the theme only over the mails and I am yet to meet other artistes and finalise what the performance will be all about, but we will try that the piece inspires women and it spreads message among other people as well,” said the dancer. She also added that during her earlier visits to India she always concentrated on the dance forms and made an attempt to know more about the culture here. “When I travelled earlier I saw some dance shows in Rajasthan, Varanasi and Kerela. I also attended some Kathak classes to know more about the music and the culture of the place,” she added.

Shaked started dancing at the age of five. But she has been a professional dancer since last six years. Apart from performing and being part of dance workshops she also trains people on a physical technique called Gaga. “I have been into contemporary dances and I also learnt the techniques of classical ballet and other folk dance forms from Israel. But Gaga is a physical technique, which was invented by Ohad Naharin about ten years ago, and it helps in better coordination and is a way of gaining knowledge and self awareness through your body. It helps you discover the strengths of your body and provides a better flexibility. It helps in healing and body movement,” said the dancer.

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