Home Chennai Dance therapy comes to the city

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pills could take a
backseat as we are introduced to art therapy in Chennai

Even as expensive afternoons with a shrink are slowly turn ing into an urban fad,A� any talk of mental illnessesA� is still a taboo in our society. So what are the alternatives for those who need help? Nalini Prakasha��a dancer, choreographer and movement therapista��believes her form of dance/movement therapy can help make a difference. a�?In a country that has such respect for its arts, there is great potential to advance in the field of mental health,a�? says US-based Prakash, who is in the country to spread awareness on this special form of therapy.

Healing steps
Mind-lead-1a�?Dance is a form of release. When tension builds in you, the best way is to just dance it off. I began dancing at the age of three and it has seen me through many ups and downs,a�? says the accomplished danseuse. a�?Later, I volunteered with Udhavi, a centre for children with special needs, in Coonoor. I could see that dancing helped them but I had no knowledge on how to take it forward,a�? she adds. Prakash stumbled on to her calling after attending a workshop by movement therapist Tripura Kashyap in 2006. She later enrolled at Drexel University, Philadelphia, for their dance/movement therapy programme (2008-2010) and since then has been working as a therapist with Saint Elizabetha��s Hospital in
Washington DC.

a�?We mostly do group therapy. We ask our patients to do whatever they wanta��as free movement brings out hidden emotions. It also helps relieve emotional stress. We pick up on the physical cues and then engage them in dialogue,a�? concludes Prakash. If you missed her talks in February, you can still catch her dance performance, Vishala: Expanse, today.

At Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, at 7 pm. Free entry. Details: payal.aalaap@gmail.com

a��Surya Praphulla Kumar

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