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Dance for Good

By Samantha Mehra

From March 12th through 28th, 2013, participants in hospitals, shelters and hospices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia benefited from seeing and learning Bollywood jazz dance as part of the new initiative Dance for Good. Organized by contemporary Indian dance choreographer Shiamak Davar’s Victory Arts Foundation (a not-for-profit Canadian organization), the project brought together teachers, students and the Shiamak Dance Team in an effort to demonstrate the “transformative effect of dance.” Dance for Good gave participants a chance to view Bollywood jazz dance performances, as well as the opportunity to learn choreography and interact with performers. Participating organizations included St. Michael’s Centre Hospice, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Shelter and the BC Children’s Hospital’s Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. A public demonstration of the Dance for Good program was held on March 23rd at the Capilano Mall, featuring a free showcase of the Dance Team. In a press release, Davar outlined the significance of the initiative: “As the name suggests, Dance for Good is a program where an individual or a group can dance for a good cause … our aim is to share the joy of dance, to empower the performers, to encourage the spirit of volunteerism, and to bring communities together through music and the performing arts.”

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