A mixture of feelings to be home again after such a dazzling tour. We're proud that Sancheti Healthcare Academy invited Kinections to collaborate with them to build India’s first clinical and academic certificate program in dance/movement therapy. Eager to learn, the students were open not just to gathering data, but to acquiring new ways of knowing such as kinesthetic empathy, Bloom’s Taxonomy, the LivingMusic Loop, and the use of breath and other basic elements of dance as sources of discovery, expression, and change.
The students had a chance to experience dance/movement therapy for themselves, but because of the compressed nature of the program, Dani taught them - much earlier than she usually does - how to alternate between the role of student/client to that of dance/movement therapist. She did so by introducing the difference between product and process, integrating it with her original concept of the Facilitative Quartet, and examining ways in which Indian dance/movement therapists might function both differently from and the same as their western counterparts.
Founder Nikita Mittal has been working with Dani's advice and support to structure a solid program that adheres as best as possible to the guidelines of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA). The first "batch" of students decided they wanted a name to identify themselves. They honored Dani by asking her to name them. She and I dubbed them The Initiators. Happily, they took to the name and recognize their identity as the first wave in the subcontinent. Dani will share more personal thoughts and feelings about her experience some time in the future.
LivingMusic also saw continued development. Everyone participated in instrument circles facilitated by Jeffrey, and found the experiences resonated with memory and past good feeling. Two "non-musical" members of the group - by the end of our time together - had discovered they were actually pianists!
After completing our work in Pune, we set off to explore the southlands: Kerala and Goa. The landscape was lovely, the people we met generous. It was especially grand to be walking the white sand beach in Goa, feeling the sun and temperatures of 88 degrees F, while Rochester was under inches of snow and seeing temperatures just above 0 F!
In Kerala, Jeffrey had a chance to find chilanka - traditional instruments worn by Southern Classical (Carnatic) dancers. He brought some home for LivingDance~LivingMusic participants to enjoy too.
Because of rescheduled flights going home, we ended up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a chance to tour for the day. Jeffrey discovered traditional musical instruments, the tsenatsil, and brought a couple home for playing LivingMusic.
We look forward to our return to Sancheti, even as Dani continues her guidance and supervision via WhatsApp, WebEx, and email.
< written by Jeffrey, , Rochester NY >