This is a journal on the experiences of our Managing Editor, Swagatam Roy, while attending the “Dance and Mind Workshop”, organised by Nirantar Studios, with the instructor being, Shamik Chanda.
I have seen “Shamik Da (Chanda)” dancing on the beats, lyrics and music of soothing songs for quite a while now. When I say this, I mean that, Shamik da literally feels the music and then moves accordingly. One fine day, I came across a poster which read, “Dance and Mind”. It was a workshop that was being organised by Nirantar Studios and the instructor was named as Shamik Chanda. I have long been a dance enthusiast but my experience in this art form is negligible. As I was already acquainted with Shamik Da’s form of dancing, I knew, as the word mind is in the title of the workshop, this workshop is surely going to deal with emotions and I love dealing with emotions. I instantly decided to enroll myself in this workshop. However, deep down somewhere, I was nervous because I am not a dancer.
When the 3-day long workshop started, the first day was just unbelievably, unexpectedly amazing. The workshop was divided into three segments. Each segment was revealed on each day. The name of the first segment, which was revealed on the first day, was “Explore”. We explored ourselves and this word “explore” has a really deep meaning here. We kept falling down in a deep well of soothing music. We understood the divinity of light and what it means to lose yourself in the lap of peace.
The name of the second segment, which was revealed on the second day, was “Understand”. For the first time in our life, we understood ourselves and refrained from solely understanding others. At the very beginning of the second day, we were blind-folded. We were living the life of a blind person. Somebody, who sees nothing; a person, for whom the world is, just a black, dark colour. We went through an intense light therapy, and that was divine. Maybe, even the word, “divine” cannot do justice to that excercise. Many of my co-participants were emotionally triggered after this exercise, but I was feeling extremely happy. It was like a game as if the difficulty level was now rising. This exercise was followed by a unique type of game, which left a lot of responsibilities on us, and when I say “a lot”, I mean it. We were still blind-folded and a glass container, which is fragile, and can hurt any of us, if we land our foot on it, was kept somewhere inside the room. Now, we were asked to walk inside the room, however, it had a sweet twist. The condition was that, if we land our foot on the container, and it spills off the water, it was filled with, the workshop would be stopped right away, and we would be sent back to our homes. In addition to that, breaking a glass container with your foot, will make sure that some pieces of broken glass get inside and hurt you. Now, we were asked to overcome this condition with the power of friendship. A bond of friendship was required to be created among all the strangers, who were participating in that workshop. How? Check it yourself by participating in their workshop once, I assure, you won’t regret. When we passed this level of the game, the difficulty level was then risen up yet again. We were instructed to recall the worst experience in our life. We did that for a couple of minutes, and many of us, bursted out into tears. The instructor then reached out to each of us individually, he got hold of our hands, and asked us to curse that person for the one last time. Everybody was then feeling a little lighter. It was as if a heavy load of emotions, was finally being unloaded. All that while, we were completely blind-folded; as a matter of fact, we were blind-folded for a period of more than one hour. This session was followed by an unconventional way of meditation and then we were cool and calm. Yet again, we lost ourselves in the lap of peace. By the time the second day ended, we knew that we should always prioritise and love ourselves. Self-love is one of the most important features, that person should have.
The third day was once in a lifetime experience, that none of us are going to forget. The segment was named as “Unleash”. We died and then we took a new birth. People have long been fond of starting a new life. Many memes have gone viral on Facebook saying, “I wish I could alter everything by taking a new birth,” and we did exactly the same thing in that workshop. We saw ourselves dying, and then we had the control and power to decide what our new life is going to be all about. It was followed by a power-packed party, because we took a new birth, and we wanted to celebrate that occasion. For the first time in those three days, we were leaving the room with a lot and lot of energy. The first two days ended with a very peaceful vibe, and the third day ended with the most energetic vibe, we could ever experience in our life.
The best thing about the workshop is that it changes you as a person. Another special trait of the workshop is that, you become emotionally connected with all your fellow participants and instructor as well. You share your darkest secrets, brightest happiness and worst experiences, very freely and frankly with every other person sitting in that room, and the best thing is you are not judged.
Nirantar Studio is now organising the Dance and Mind Workshop in Karimganj as well. The date is yet to be announced but the poster has already surfaced on social media. You may visit their facebook page, “Nirantar” for more details.