Terence Lewis visits Isha Home School
Terence Lewis is a celebrity choreographer specializing in corporate shows, fusion ensembles, Bollywood and Broadway musicals.
Amongst his repertoire of many talents he is also a leading celebrity Judge on Sony TV's 'Dance Dance' & Zee TV's 'Dance India Dance'. Through his own journey of arriving into dance as a professional vocation he created Terence Lewis Academy (T.L.A.) in 1999 and Terence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company (TLCDC) in 2000.
His own exploration has included his indigenous roots cultivated from all classical Indian dance forms, but he discovered the contemporary dimension through his many alliances with great teachers in the US and Europe. This interplay of the contemporary movement with some traditional classical forms is his platform for individual expression and freedom. With his common phrase coined as “anybody can dance”, encouraging all to explore contemporary movement as a method of self expression and liberation. The performing unit specializing in various dance forms, has given performances all over the world.
As an Isha meditator with a burgeoning sense of wanting to visit the ashram, and a sense of curiosity for the Isha home school, Terence Lewis took time out from his own busy schedule last month to spend three days with the students to facilitate a workshop. The children involved were between the ages of 7-14 and in groups of 25 at a time, in three hour marathon sessions, surprisingly with no breaks. Moreover most sessions ended with students demanding more!! So for Terence the days were filled with expectant little faces and his own personal portions of respite in the Dhyanalinga and Linga Bhairavi temples.
The three days were an exploration of movement and eurhythmy under the guise of contemporary dance. As the days evolved there was a symbiotic relationship cultivated, with an understanding of Terence's interpretation of the scope of contemporary movement; educating the students into a style of dance which encapsulated freedom. Interestingly at first it was just a matter of developing a relationship and a sense of trust and creating the space for this interplay. The subtle messages were incorporated in the intermittent exchanges leaving much to the imagination as well as self reflection. This aspect seemed to the most important part of the workshop, as he said that “the purpose of the workshop was not to choreograph a performance but more to facilitate a space for self expression without boundaries”. Hence even music was only included more towards the end as not to distract the students from the experience and remaining in the moment and allowing emotions to arrive and dissipate through movement.
The three days were a great exposure to contemporary dance and an honor for our students to be taught by such a learned choreographer. It created the perfect blend of effervescence, curiosity and intrigue that the final question was when will he be back? His own presence at the guest school assembly gave an insight into his life and the manifold challenges to achieve his dream successfully and forge a career out of his own passion. He spoke of cultural norms and their demands, economic burdens and growing in a large family, all of which only allowed room for pragmatic choices.
This was a great source of inspiration for the children, once again seeing how his own determination and passion cultivated a vocation; which may not always have ease and structure but is great for self cultivation, boundlessness and living joyously. Moreover during this assembly he used the space to show a piece of contemporary movement, without music or any previous choreography. Once again there was a great message as to how to create ease in this physical self through movement, to remove self-doubt or lack of confidence; which therefore changes how we commune with our social demands with this body.
It was a great delight to observe the changes in the children in a matter of three days, the enthusiastic electricity and the hunger for more of these sessions. Terence was moved by the children, seeing how much they were able to learn in a matter of days. It was ample enough for him to assure us he will return for further exploration.