Over 200 students from 17 institutions showcase their talent

Visually-challenged students from schools and institutions from across the country put up a grand display of various dance forms at the All India Dance Competition for the visually challenged, which was jointly organised by the Indian Association for the Blind and Amway Opportunity Foundation, in Madurai on Saturday.

As many as 217 students from 17 different institutions put up dance performances in different categories, which included group folk, classical solo and freestyle.

Most participants, who had converged in the city for the competition, said that apart from their love for dance, the opportunity to travel and perform outside their home State was something that motivated them.

For the 10 girls from the Rehabilitation Centre for Blind Women in Tiruchi, the past month of rehearsals and practice has been an enjoyable experience. “Learning something new as well as practising as a group was interesting and enriching,” said a visually-challenged C. Selvarani, who was part of the dance troupe. The students from the rehabilitation centre put up a ‘karagattam’ performance and enthralled the audience with synchronised dance movements while balancing pots on their heads.

“Of the 2,000 students I have taught, the experiencing of teaching this group has been a unique and fulfilling one,” said M. Ilangovan from the Kavin Kalai Kuzhu who had trained the girls.

“The process of teaching is a slow and systematic one. We started with an emphasis on balance and then move on to steps and formations,” he explained. Echoing his point, Manoj Kumar Rath, headmaster School for the Blind, Odisha, said that it required a lot of time, patience and enthusiasm from the students and teachers alike.

In the group folk category, the students showcased a variety of folk styles from their States, which included Sambalpuri and Jogwa.

The competition was inaugurated by Justice K.N. Basha, Chairman of the Intellectual Property, Appellate Tribunal. C. Ramasubramaniam, president, Indian Association for the Blind, and secretary S.M.A Jinnah were also present.

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