Spreading love, joy through dance

Multi-award winning Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer and producer, Sohini Roychowdhury's life and work has always been a constant embodiment of her ethos of connecting civilizations by spreading light, joy, empathy and harmony.

In her multiple roles as lead dancer, choreographer, producer of Sohinimoksha World Dance Opera productions, solo Bharatanatyam performer, speaker and lecturer at Universities and talk-events across the glob, Sohini is constantly striving to bring our world closer through life lessons gleaned from the universal language of art and culture.

Going beyond the confines of the stage and the talk-venues, she has been spreading her vision and world view through her customised workshops for children of all ages, especially from the displaced and marginalised sections of the world's societies.

Her focused dance workshops through storytelling have embraced children of all ages – from Syrian refugees in Austria and Germany, to African asylum seekers in Spain, children of red-light workers in Kolkata, offspring of convicted women inmates of jails in Maharashtra, orphan girls in shelter homes.

The sound of her ghungroos, and her re-telling of India's magical mythologies through dance constantly conjures dreams, and fuels hopes and aspirations of the most innocent and blameless members of the world's most marginalised groups.

In the summer of 2019, in Belgium's Namur province, a young refugee girl from El Salvador had her first wonderstruck social interaction, in her new country of residence when she attended Sohini's storytelling through dance session, organised by the regional government.

The Governor of Namur publicly felicitated Sohini for her pathbreaking interactive sessions with such children in his province. Sohini believes that it is our children who hold the key to a peaceful, harmonious future and so no child must be left behind, no matter how challenging their present circumstances may be.

In India, Sohini's most recent endeavours in this space has been her monthly dance workshops and storytelling sessions for the children of inmates of jails, and training the girls of Kolkata's LittleBigHelp orphanage in the intricacies of Bharatanatyam.

Some of her select students from LittleBigHelp, some as young as eight, started 2020 with a bang, performing a specially choreographed Bharatanatyam piece in front of an audience of thousands, at Kolkata's biggest annual street festival on January 5.

Sohini has been invited to grace the iconic Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2020 and conduct a special session of her signature 'storytelling-through-dance' for children on January 18 at the Max Mueller Bhavan – an event that promises to be an equally unique and immersive experience for those participating and watching.

This event, titled 'Nature and Us – Moves with Sohini Roychowdhury', will, in one session, seamlessly connect these children in Kolkata with those in Austria, Mumbai, Spain and Germany, all of who have been enthralled by similar sessions with Sohini over the years – obliterating the geographical and man-made barriers of miles, cultures, languages and societies. Connecting Civilizations – one child at a time, one country at a time – for a tomorrow full of empathy, love, music, harmony and peace; the Sohinimoksha way.

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