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Dance is my religion : My Life My Passion – Haleem Khan

The Kuchipudi dancer and actor Shri Haleem Khan enthralled the Bala audience with his fascinating life. The session started with a short and wonderful promo of his dance and his life.

 

Born into a conservative family, Haleem Khan demonstrated that art is beyond religion and creed“.

Introducing his journey of life, he said: “For me dance is everything”. Combining humour and bhava he took the audience through his journey. He spoke of how he used to watch and enjoy classical dance programmes on TV for hours when he was young, and this slowly turned into an obsession and he wanted to learn dance. He explained his family situation and how he silently and patiently waited for the right opportunity to learn dance. When he found the opportunity, he persisted in getting his first teacher in accepting him as a student, who was initially apprehensive of teaching him. He secretly continued his classes with this teacher, and later with her Guru. He explained how he used to practise in the bathroom and secretly continued his classes and practise for almost four years. His passion drove him to move to Hyderabad on the pretext of learning hardware engineering. There he got the opportunity to teach dance, and perform on stage. As he was balancing his passion for dance, his programmes and his work he decided to pursue dance as a career, risking failure and other challenges. He also spoke about how he started donning female roles as a Kuchipudi performer. He then gave a humorous recollection of how his family came to know about his dance, when a local TV came to interview them and how his strength, his dedication to his art helped him convince his family to accept this.

 

 

Convincing family and overcoming the differences was a challenge and he explained how he managed the situation of a man donning a female role. He wanted to preserve the tradition of Kuchipudi where traditionally men don female roles. He said even today we learn Bhagavad Gita since it is not just a book, but our culture. We have so much to learn from it, and it is our tradition. Similarly, he wanted to carry on the tradition of Kuchipudi and pass it on to the next generation. He slowly delved into the contradictions of his religion of birth and the religious aspects in the dance he was pursuing and how society looks at it. He told the audience that for him dance is his religion. This he says is how he sees his India, his religion and life. He explained how this was natural for him as a dancer. He said that while dancing he learned so much about the deities and this was not just physical but he experienced them mentally and spiritually and became one with them. He said unless you truly believe in the stories and that they are Gods, you cannot portray them genuinely. He says when he dances as Parvathi he becomes Parvathi. He eloquently explained that he becomes more than a devotee, and that is the strength that dance gives, and this helps transports the audience.

 

 

He says he believes it is his destiny to become a dancer, and that can be seen from the way he followed his passion and overcame so many difficulties to pursue it. He advised the students, that to do anything in life, it takes some struggle and constant fight to help achieve it. He said that one strong love and desire should be there and we should surrender and God will give strength to open doors in this journey. When you are happy & comfortable with your life, love every moment of what you do, and wake up looking forward to it every day, there is nothing more you need. You may have small struggles, but you should be ready to fight for it and achieve it. He concluded the inspiring session with a small demonstration and made the campers do a few steps along with him, leaving them inspired and motivated to pursue their passion in life.

 

Feedback

He opened our eyes to towards our passion which we had never given a chance to grow. – Anjana, Mathipriya, Vidya & Anirudhan.

He is our role model. – Keerthana and Prathiksha.

He has inspired us. – Keerthana, Anjana, Aditya, Amrit Subramaniam, Aishwarya, Yashas Kumara Adi & Ramyadevi.

Helped increase our faith in God. – U Shriram, G Sripujitha, 

Amazed at the fact that he  “blew up the stereotyping and labelling of society”. – Aditya & Ramyadevi.

Great to see someone who grew to be so successful even after facing so many hardships.- Seaynawa

His life’s story taught us that failures are also good. – Aishwarya Ht, Anupama K Patil & Buvana Varthani 

Taught me the importance of passion, willpower, hard work and confidence. Unable to believe that he was in front of me. – Shakti

Taught me how to be simple. – Sandhiyae

Like the fact that he did not show any inequality between religions. -Samhitha

Liked his straightforwardness. – Rohan

Never seen someone who is so passionate towards dance. – Vaidoorya

Could especially connect to him as a dancer. – Devika

But most of all you have inspired many students to overcome their obstacles and pursue their passion.

 

 

My Life, My Passion: Love for Dance -Sudha Chandran

Sudha Chandran spoke to the campers in the My life, My Passion session on 2nd June 2013. In her inspiring talk, she spoke about the need to believe in oneself, and to have faith and never give up, even when life puts us at stake. She urged the audience to fight when struggles come in life since life must move on. She also said that youth have powers to manage stress, hence they do not need special stress management. She also advised the students to learn now, since whatever must be learned is best imbibed when young.

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Feedback

When difficult and unexpected experiences come in your life never give up. Love everything you do and be happy
– Aswathi TS

She taught us the art of turning difficulties of life to stepping stones for success.
– Pranav S

She was a lady who fought for her life, told us to not to give up on life.
– Shruti Sreevalsan

She is really an inspiring personality. She had to fight throughout her life and reached such a good level in which she is happy.
– Amrita Sindhu M

It was nice to see a person who lost one of her legs and still became an amazing personality. Very inspirational.
– Thiru Ramakrishnan T

I think without a leg she did a lot, so she is not physically challenged. The persons who have everything and are doing nothing and blaming others are physically challenged.
– – Prabu Vignesh S

Amazing inspiration. Makes me learn to get back when fallen. Extraordinary.
– Vasudevan N

Sudha Chandranji’s life taught me that accidents are good. They bring out the best in us.
– Jayadev HR

We got to know how she struggled and how she achieved.
– Mopuri Saitheja

Inspiring life! Never allow challenges to rule you but rule them and emerge successfully. Be passionate.
– Aiswarya PL

I was so impressed while listening to her life history. It says us that even though you lost anything in life don’t give up on anything. It conveyed a message that it’s not the end but its just a start.
– Priyadharshini J

Her confidence, boldness, and her convictions inspired me and taught me to strive against all odds. The dance session which followed was a gala time.
– Daamini Visaalaakshi

She taught how to tackle challenges fearlessly.
– Neeraja Valsan

‘A true person is the one who builds a castle with the stones that people throw on them’, I saw this phrase in her. Immense hardworking attitude, passion and faith in God can help you achieve all that you want in your life.
– Prarthana Shedge

Her story was really touching. She wanted something and she achieved it. That’s what I like about her.
– Arun Prasath B

It was a good experience for me because I got a chance to dance with her and her life is so inspiring.
– Ruxana.V.P

The main thing I saw in her is the attitude towards life.
– Saranya

Felt like talking to an iron lady! Her determination and confidence was really something.
– Geethanjali VS

Inspiring life story. It made us realize from her life, to never ever give up your goal no matter what. God always helps you if you work towards your goal.
– Akhila A

Be passionate and challenge ourselves. Then we can do everything. Impossible is nothing!
– Aarathy ER

Such a dynamic personality standing in front of us was a dream come true for me. Got hell a lot of inspiration from her, and not to give up in the hardest of times.
– Aswathi Krishna RL

I got highly inspired by her talk…if there is a will,there is a way..
– Silpasree S.J

Her life was very inspiring for me. The way how she fought even after having met with such a terrible fate was truly courageous. Hats off to her!!
– Anjali Anil

you showed us the necessity of obstacles in life to achieve success and true happiness. You also showed us the power of confidence and dedication and will always stay as one of my favorite idols.
– Arjun CB

She is the role model of my life.
– Harisankar KH

Sudhaji’s session was astounding and mesmerizing. I felt inspired after hearing all she has gone through. I learned that every failure is a stepping stone to success. I learned that I should be independent and not let anyone control my life.
– Sujith P Shaju

Similar to Sudhaji’s story is mine. I was even not able to stand, sit, sleep, walk or do anything for a long time. I think I have to convince my mind and think that she didn’t have her leg and achieved a lot, then so can I. i am very much inspired by her.
– Dilip Kumar B

Well, I have learnt one thing from her, that is to take the things positively.
– Rahul Kowshik R

We learned a lot from her life. I learnt that we should never lose hope when we step into failure and face the situations boldly.
– Nishanth Bhat K

Oh it was amazing. I learnt a lot from her.
– Koushik KKS

I learnt how to overcome the difficulties.
– Sathyamoorthy A

I learned how to be more courageous, ambitious and patient, from her.
– Ram Prasath VR

I really don’t know what to say but she is my inspiration. She has taught me how to “believe in yourself”.
– Prashanth S

I learnt how to overcome the hardships of life.
– Divyaprasaath S

She was great. When I hear about her story I was shocked. Though she lost her leg, her confidence, belief and aim made her achieve her goal. I was happy to dance with her, that gave me more inspiration for the work I do.
– Sreeragh

She personified determination and self confidence and also threw light about how far the support of one’s family can go.
– Hrishikesh Sivanandan

All we need is willpower to be successful in our life. This is what I learned from her.
– Balakrishnaveni A

 

My Life, My Passion: Love for Dance – Methil Devika

Methil Devika gave a lecture Demonstration on traditional dance form of Kerala – Mohiniyattam. Through her speech and beautiful expressions and demonstrations of the dance form, she taught the children to see divinity all around them. She spoke about her journey that started with a fall, about her passion and she told that children that to achieve success one must be a fighter and have one-minded concentration.

She also touched upon the requirements of an artist, saying that any performance must relate to the audience. Elaborating further she explained that when an audience enters a state of bliss or are intoxicated- that is the success of the performer. Through her beautiful dance demos, she gave a practical demonstration of an ideal performer.

Feedback

It was the first time in my life that I actually understood a dance. Ha ha ha! – Amrtya Rajkumar

I was surprised to see her expression and the way she answered the questions. – Jayasudha

After seeing her dance only I came to know how interesting classical dance is! – Ayush R

Methil Devika is a good dancer. I don’t like classical dance. But I started liking it after seeing your dance. – Jeeva.s

She is one of the best dancers that I have ever seen dancing Mohiniattam. – M. Subash

Is the most enchanting dancer I have ever seen throughout. Her grace is inexplicable. Her humility and the way she relates the art to the real life was undoubtedly inspiring. Perhaps if everyone is able to relate their learning to their life they would be the most successful ones. – Chitkala S

Her Mohiniyattam bought tears in my eyes. Awesome mam. – Divyadayanand

She was amazing. I was impressed by her passion for dance and love as well. Her dance really made us feel like Lord Krishna was born on the stage – Vaishnavi G.

What a dance! Saw KRISHNA IN HER- it’s really fantastic. – Shivankari. P. R

Her dance, her expression, her beauty, her lifestyle, and her speech made me so much interest in dance. I thank her for coming for this programme. – P.Palani Pushpam

I became a fan of hers after seeing only one dance! – Greeshma P

It was amazing to see her dance with the expression on the birth of Sree Krishna! – Shantanu Sriranjan.B

What a beauty Indian dance has! – P. Mukundh Krishna

It inspired me a lot as I got to know that dance is an offering to God. It also made me aware of the greatness of our culture. – Rahul. C. M

To be very honest, I’ve not seen such a dance in my life. Methil Devika explained to us what the meaning of each step is. – Ramakrishnan p s

After seeing her dance we were surprised and planned to join dance classes!! We thank her for coming and inspiring us!! – P.Surat Kumar

She was fabulous! She spoke through actions. Stories can be told like this too, without words!! I enjoyed it. – K.Jayapreethi

I got inspired to learn Mohiniyattam. – B. Bhuvanesh

I was lost in the dance and her expression. – Sangeetha.M.T

I liked her dance. She is a role model for the children who are learning dance. – K.R. Dhanush

She inspired me because of her dance and her faith in God. – S.Sabarinath

a very good dancer! My passion towards dance started increasing. – K.S.Megha

She is a dancer whose dancing started with a fall. But now she has reached heights and had added many feathers to her cap. – Chaaran A

We were bewildered by her performance. Thanks. – Srinath. S

According to me, she is the best dancer I have ever seen….!!! – Ajay Sarma

Dance with Love: workshop by Lakshmi & Sunil

This is one of the workshop children enjoyed most. Lakshmi explained and demonstrated the forms of dance, Bharatanatyam and Kathakkali with special reference to the similarity and differences between them.

They reiterated that the classical dance forms of India are not merely a movement of the body, but involves the dancer’s being one with God.

Depicted the navarasas in both the dance forms, Kathakkali and Bharatanatyam.

Involved the participants of Gitamrita in both the dance forms, taught them lessons, and make of Kathakali.

Lakshmi stressed the importance of the dancer experiencing love in God.