Two words have created havoc in our lives — COVID-19 and lockdown. While many of us are fortunate to have a roof on our heads and food on our table, others are not. Daily wage workers have been hit the hardest. Many have been doing their bit to help, including dancers. Bengaluru-based NGO, Spreading Hope Foundation, by Lourd Vijay, is organising an online dance festival called the All Heart Dance Festival over two weekends (May 23 to 24 and May 30 to 31) via Zoom. There will be 48 workshops conducted by dancers from across the country.
Lourd, talks to MetroPlus about the event and more. Excerpts.
Tell us about Spreading Hope Foundation.
I was dealing with chronic kidney problems and was on dialysis for two-and-a-half years. On March 14, 2016, I underwent a kidney transplant. I got my kidney through the Deceased Donor programme run by the State. That prompted me to help spread awareness about organ donation and how the foundation came into being.
Janya Kothari (a lawyer), Tanya Jairaj (a social activist) and I started the foundation on August 1, 2017. When the lockdown happened, we decided to help the daily wage workers as they were hit the hardest. Tanya came up with a plan to reach out to them . She put up a post online and we started getting calls about people in need. We ended up providing 40,000 displaced daily wage workers with 40 tonnes of groceries and essential supplies. We needed more support and decided to organise this online dance fest.
How many dance forms will be taught at the festival?
We will be teaching street dance, hip-hop, salsa, samba, zumba, contemporary, different kinds of jazz, Latin dance, Bollywood dance and more. There will also be a few fitness workshops. It is open to anyone interested in dancing from any corner of the country.
How effective are online classes when it comes to dance?
The instructor may not be able correct or teach perfect technique, but people will get an idea of the dance form, listen to great music and get some exercise. It is also a form of digital socialising. There are lots of plus points to this.
What is the biggest challenge of conducting such a festival?
Money and trust are the two problems: many people have lost their jobs and these are trying times. We are thankful that we have been getting good feedback and response.
This festival will not only de-stress people, but also help raise funds.
What is the last date to register?
People can register for any day, or even a single session. May 31 is the last day of the fest: they can register even on that day. The passes are priced at ₹990 with options of day passes, passes for a single workshop or the whole festival.
Passes are on insider.in. For details, visit the All Heart Dance Festival Facebook page.