The Calcutta Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (CMIG) had organized a programme on the 29th of June, 2019 at Kala Kunj, the basement of Kala Mandir at Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata to highlight the importance of Music and Dance Therapy. This programme was organized in collaboration with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), West Bengal. It was supported by ADDA Slough, IBUK, Thikana and Silver Circle.
CMIG has been accredited as REGIONAL RESOURCE & TRAINING CENTRE (RRTC) by Government of India, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. RRTC operates as nodal agency to coordinate with the organizations from different eastern states of India within the networking for promoting Gerontology and taking care of aged.
Adda Slough, a charitable organization near England has the objective of relaxed and unlimited exchange of views to promote community integration and cohesion. Thikana is an organization engaged in caring for the aged. The Silver Circle is a joint initiative of Support Elders and Calcutta Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology to build a platform to help improve the quality of life of elders through positive engagement and activities which can uphold one's self-esteem. Dr. Indrani Chakravarty, Chief Functionary of CMIG gave an welcome address to the programme.
|The Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor at the programme|
The Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor of MAKAUT Prof. Dr. Saikat Maitra inaugurated the programme and highlighted the importance of Music and Dance Therapy, in the life of every individual. He said, "Everything has changed with time. Technology has changed everything and very often it has reduced the ability to concentrate. As a result, we are unable to find happiness in our environment. We have to come out of this situation and drive our mind to a positive direction. herein comes the relevance of music or dance."
Prof. Maitra mentioned that, the influence of music, painting, colour can improve a person both physiologically and psychologically. He cited the example of raga 'Darbari Kanara'. It has been proved in research that it can wipe off tiredness and that is why Tansen used to sing this raga to Akbar. In this context Prof. Maitra pointed out that, sono-chemical reaction occurs in our body, when we hear a sound. Chemical reaction takes place when we hear musical sound and that is sono-chemical reaction. These reaction kinetics are being studied. Prof. Maitra pointed out that energy-matter transformation is a cyclic process. It is similar to life. Just like the dual properties of matter, a human being has 'sthula sharir' and 'shukhsma sharir'. If consciousness has a definite orientation, then it is a good sign and that will make possible for music to influence the mind and turn it towards a positive direction. one must liberate the mind from the idea of excessive consumerism and identify oneself with the idea of cosmic philosophy. In fact, herein lies the importance of music. It is through music that we can advance towards shukhsma sharir and towards God.
|Esha Chakrabarty demonstrating|
Dance Therapy on the stage
Ms. Esha Chakravarty, an oncology researcher in UK and also a dancer demonstrated about Dance Therapy. She said that it is all about embodied experience and a matter of connecting physical, emotional, social and spiritual coordinates. Non-dancers too and people from all age groups can be a part of it. It is also possible for the bed ridden to become active with the help of this therapy. When it is difficult to connect with somebody, props play a major role, stressed Esha. She demonstrated in her dance the war between Raktabeejk demon and Devi Shakti, as demonstrated in Chandi, symbolising the fight between cancer cells and available treatments. Esha, however, pointed out that these cannot replace mainstay treatment. It is opnly supportive and a complementary mechanism.
A Shruti Natak "Deep Shikha" was performed by senior citizens on cancer and its effect on beauty. There was also a dance programme on the use of props and connection with feminine characteristics for gynaecological cancers, rape victims and human trafficking victims. A team of elderly ladies showed group movement and use of props, showing connection/expression.
|Mrs. Saswati Maitra performing on the stage|
Mrs. Saswati Maitra demonstrated with appropriate songs, the importance of Music Therapy. She selected Shankaracharya's stotra "ka taba Kanta, kaste putra" to explain how music can invoke spiritual feelings.
Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each person, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, a person's abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives, like spiritualism, beauty, nearness to the nature and so on. In fact this aspect was demonstrated by Mrs. Maitra.
|Prof. Dr. P. N. Dutta performing on the stage|
A Professor of Mathematics in MAKAUT, Dr. Prasanta Narayan Dutta also demonstrated the impact of music on strengthening the heart and soul of an individual. He selected the songs, “Ke go antorotaro se” (Rabindra Sangeet), “Ami Banglai Gan Gai” ( Composed and sung by Pratul Mukhopadhyay) and “ Ay Ayre Pagol Bhulbi Re Chal Apnake” (Rabindra Sangeet). These helped to explain how the passion for spiritualism or our mother language can create a favourable environment for our cure and give a healing touch to our pains.
Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. These aspects are demonstrated by the performers.
Professor Dr. Sriyankar Acharya, who teaches Computer Science and Engineering in MAKAUT also explained the relevance of performing arts in human life through his elocution from Rabindranath Tagore's writings.
There were also dance acts on Mother and Child Relation and Palliation & Death.
As a whole the programme gave an insight into the benefits of music and dance therapy on the lives of everybody. Research in music and dance therapy supports their effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for the aged, the infirm and their families, and also providing an outlet for expression of feelings.
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