Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Four years ago, Sant Advani had a heart ailment owing to which he couldn’t walk at a stretch for even half an hour — but he could still dance salsa for two hours. “I think the ‘feel good’ endorphins simply took over,” says Advani. His cardiologist Dr. D B Pahlajani told him he could continue dancing as long as there was no discomfort.
The spry silver has already mastered salsa, cha-cha-cha, jive, samba, rumba and the foxtrot. And now, he’s perfecting the Argentinean tango and waltz. “Thanks to my wife who is a good dancer, I learnt to dance to Red red wine on the day of my wedding,” says Advani. It was on a holiday to Goa six years ago that he started pursuing dance seriously. “The resort had a dance class that I joined for a lark, and today I am an honorary dance instructor there,” he says with pride. “It never takes me long to get people on the dance floor,” he adds. Noting his enthusiasm, four years ago the hotel staff asked him to be their dance instructor whenever he vacationed there.
Advani heads a pharmaceutical and hospital contamination control firm. But life clearly isn’t 'all work and no play'. Every week, he takes time out to groove to his favourite numbers that include Bachata, Oye como vas, Mama kiyelele, Summer of ’69, La bamba, Rock around the clock, Tequila and the pulsating salsa version of Hotel California. “When I dance, I surrender to the moment.”
Monday, August 30, 2010
Bela Shanghvi has been a well-known revivalist of handloom weaving techniques since the last 27 years. She received exposure in this field as her childhood as her father used to manufacture textile machinery. This 46 year-old has not received any formal education in textiles but learnt about textile and design from Charles Russolini under whom she served as a first assistant in USA.
“About 25 years ago, I spotted a collection of textiles dating back to the Moghul era in Washington D.C. When I came back, I realised that these textiles were not there is India,” says Shanghvi. “That is when I decided to revive textiles,” she adds.
Shanghvi has served as the President of the Crafts Council Maharashtra and is the national adviser to the Government of India on policy and design. She is currently working on a book on traditional techniques in textiles. Being familiar with about 300 – 400 different techniques, Shanghvi has helped to revive about 30 – 40 techniques which were dying. Additionally, she is also an honorary member of the World Craft Council
Shanghvi also runs Studio Aavartan – a firm that deals with marketing for handlooms and Purnakala that addresses the issues of craftsmen. “Through Purnakala, I can confidently say that I have touched the lives of more than 2000 craftsmen all over India,” informs Shanghvi.
The Patola and Asshawali are her specialties. Shanghvi has not only been training weavers, but has also been providing them with technical support, design inputs and marketing options in an effort to revive the Patola weaving tradition of Patan, in Gujarat. With improved techniques, she cut production time and labour cost.
The challenges she encounters in her quest to revive weaving techniques lies in the creating awareness among the consumers who are do not know about the different kinds of textiles and the effort that goes into making them. “Craftsmen all over the country face several problems ranging from poverty to unemployment and their welfare is very important,” informs Shanghvi.