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Rural Outreach, Tamil Nadu

Rural Outreach, Tamil Nadu

In January 2023, Junoon partnered with Sharana, a social and developmental organization in Pondicherry, India to carry Classical Dance and Movement in a therapeutic capacity to Women and Girls who are economically disadvantaged and victims of abuse in the rural region of Angalakuppam.

The Women and Girls are mainly trained in the Classical Indian art form of Bharata Natyam. The symbols, gestures and flows enable a cathartic experience (DMT – Dance Movement Therapy) that is empowering for these hardworking women committed to building and sustaining their livelihoods.

Junoon began its first Outreach for Release with Sharana – a social and developmental organization that shelters, supports, educates and empowers victims of abuse. As it happens, they also come from less privilege.

Sharana mainly runs two large operations – One, a Community Centre in the village of Angalakuppam, bordering Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu, where women and young girls who come from distressed backgrounds are encouraged through social entrepreneurship into having and making a livelihood in addition to giving them medical, mental and moral support. And Two, a Social Centre in Pondicherry itself, that caters to the needs of children from similar circumstances.

Junoon took Classical Dance to them in a therapeutic sense where we hoped movement would move them in many other ways. Both the women and young girls and children in both places were so incredibly receptive and palpably moved. We saw release and relief and most importantly joy and satisfaction all over them. To our surprise, they even picked up the initial sequences of fundamentals in Bharata Natyam most spiritedly and readily. These are typically a challenge for most but they took to it so fluidly!

As a surprise for them at the end of all sessions, I even performed for them. Watching, after all, is the easiest means to aspire or learn. Just so much can be understood by observation. I do think they were delighted to have their one and only access to the Classical Dance that is often performed in elite constructs that are inaccessible by and unavailable to them.

Junoon is humbled to have begun something that has been a continued conversation with Sharana for years and therefore, in planning and preparation for a while.

It was also our first time working with children by carrying Dance Movement Therapy to them. And we are so grateful that we all came through like we did. This will be a continued association. And a constant impetus for us to actively conduct this Outreach for Release.

With Junoon.

(For more details on the entire journey of our arrival into the village as well as social centre in the city to inviting the women and girls to familiarize them with our program to the many incredible people on Team Sharana that handheld us through this Outreach for Release with a smile, warmth and endless cups of Lemon Ginger Tea and Soda, please look up our Instagram handle : @junoon.official . Thank you!)

DMT Tamil nadu Summary

The Women and Girls are mainly trained in the Classical Indian art form of Bharata Natyam. The symbols, gestures and flows enable a cathartic experience (DMT – Dance Movement Therapy) that is empowering for these hardworking women committed to building and sustaining their livelihoods.