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  Social Responsibility

Arts, Culture, Heritage
Published on: Feb. 13, 2020, 11:49 p.m.
Our foundation makes dance available across age, gender, caste, class and ability
  • Skill development through dance

By Shiamak Davar. The author is founder and artistic director of the world’s largest dance academy, an award-winning choreographer and performer, and a philanthropist. He is known as the Guru of Contemporary Dance in India.
I

ndia revels in its glorious and rich cultural history and traditions. Art and Culture are a huge part of our lives, and are celebrated and practised all over the country. Though the awareness exists, a large part of the country still lacks accessibility. With the advent of technology, this has improved tremendously and we are moving closer. While the Internet has made the world a closer knit global community, we have inched away from our own cultural heritage. Our classical dance forms are beautiful but participation can be much more. There needs to be a structured plan towards preserving the arts. Also, there is a plethora of raw talent hidden in the interiors of the country. Though the acceptance of making the Arts a full time career has improved, there is a lot of potential that is still untapped.

There are lot more professional courses that are initiated towards creating a structured syllabus and extending degrees and certifications in the Arts. Through access of the Internet and reality shows, people have more platforms digitally to showcase their talent and reach out to larger audiences. Career opportunities have increased and people are making a living through their passion, something that was not widely accepted just a few decades back.

There are corporates that are reaching out and so are a lot of private organisations that are supporting Art and Culture. The government is taking an initiative towards the same. Finding sponsors to support shows and events has increased. School and educational institutes are recognising the power of the performing arts as means to mentally stimulate and physically push students towards creatively expressing themselves, in turn helping them in their academics. A lot of private organisations have been working on these areas to bring out the hidden talent in India with its variety in Art and Culture. Some of them are trying to preserve these and some are working toward the continuity process.

With a provision in the Companies (CSR) Act through which the Art and Cultural aspect can be developed, especially amongst the sectors where accessibility is low, they are actively participating towards raising awareness. We have been a part of many such initiatives. While education, eradication of poverty and women empowerment have been a few of their major focus areas, arts and culture have also found a place in their CSR endeavours.

Understanding and observing the ability of dance to heal and work as therapy, I founded the Victory Arts Foundation, a not for profit organisation that provides a platform to address social causes and concerns. It makes dance available across age, gender, caste, class and ability; without prejudice. Victory provides vocational skill development training through the medium of dance. The foundation endeavours to use the power of dance as a therapeutic medium to bring joy to the underprivileged, physically challenged, mentally challenged, visually impaired, hearing and speech impaired and makes dance a viable and respected career option. Through its various programmes, Victory has made dance acceptable and made people understand its power to educate, entertain, empower, enlighten and enable.


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