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Updated: March 11, 2013 20:58 IST

A healing jig

PREETI ZACHARIAH
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Reaching out Diana and Richard
Reaching out Diana and Richard

Diana and Richard Tholoor say that art must change the lives of the people it touches

“Dance forces you to move your body and use it to do great things,” says Richard David Tholoor co-founder of the Richard David Tholoor Dance Project. Dance has certainly been his passport to greatness. He has represented India in various international salsa competitions and was the first Indian to qualify for World Salsa Championship in 2007. He has also entered the Limca Book of World Records in 2012 for being the first Indian to create a record of 127 Partnered Dance Spins in a minute and was a finalist on dance reality shows such as India's Got Talent and Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega.

“I have always wanted to dance but found it difficult to find institutes in India which could give me the techniques needed to internalize Latin American dances,” says Richard. “So I saved money and went abroad to learn them and then decided to take it up as a career,” he says.

He soon tasted success in various forms but that wasn’t enough, “I didn’t want dancing to just be about me. I want to use my gift for a higher purpose, induce dance-based progress, change the way people perceived dance.”

This is why he went on to establish the Richard David Tholoor Dance Project in 2011, aided by his mother, Diana—the other founder of the institute. The institute not just functions as a regular dance school that trains people in different styles of dance including Salsa, Hip Hop, Jive, and Rock and Roll but also has several Outreach and Community-based dance projects, providing free dance classes to children who cannot afford regular lessons.

“When I see something that has to be righted, I do something to make it right. I may not be a success but I must still try,” says Diana, his mother.

Diana, who comes from a theatre background, has spent many years working with differently abled children, attempting to integrate them into the larger society through art.

“I’ve done nearly 150 productions already — all of them raising issues that affect children and the community they belong to.” And essentially it boils down to one question—“What can we do to help?” adds Diana.

Their newest addition to the project is its new theatre division titled You are a star. “This is basically dance-theatre with a purpose,” says Richard.

“A very fundamental purpose,” adds Diana. “Everyone who sits in the audience should be touched. After all they are all stars in their own right,”

“All our productions focus on different social issues—about real people and real stories, not just entertainment.” says Richard. “Its about altering society, influencing culture, teaching other people values and lessons I have learnt, changing peoples lives.”

Mail Richard at richarddavidtholoordanzproject@gmail.com or call 9449816581 / 9243415681 for further details.

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