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Kuchipudi Dance Performance by Haleem Khan at Agaaz-e-Baatcheet Program

Hyderabad, 13th November 2017: As part of the week long Agaaz-e-Baatcheet program - a call to ‘initiate a conversation’ on Interfaith; being organised by Rubaroo and supported by the British Deputy High Commission, Hyderabad, the second day saw a talented male dancer Haleem Khan, presenting Kuchipudi dance, on Monday at Phoenix Arena, Hitech City.

Agaaz-e-Baatcheet is a weeklong Interfaith event from 12th-19th November 2017 in Hyderabad. The program celebrates religious diversity through community cohesion. It is a secular platform for young people to interpret and reflect deeply upon the underlying message of different religions and religious identities, finding and celebrating the commonalities between them.

Haleem Khan performed a Shiva Stuti, Javeli which praises Lord Shiva and his relationship with Parvathi. He also performed a Kuchipudi rendition of Duma Dum Mast Kalandar by creating his Interfaith version of Kuchipudi dance.

Speaking on the occasion Haleem Khan said, “I had no idea what stereotypes and gender was, I just wanted to learn dance. Ofcourse it was not easy since kuchipudi is done in a womens’ attire. But getting ready was not the tough part, changing the mindset was the tough part, but I didn’t care and did what I love.” “I practice Islam, I am in my roots but when I dance, I don’t see religion or gender but I see the purity of dance and the spirituality behind it. I don’t need to change my religion or gender to do what I am passionate about.”

Haleem Khan is a practising Muslim and a Kuchipudi dancer, a dance form that is considered primarily to be a Hindu art form. He has broken the barriers of many identities including religion and gender while taking up this art form and even though he has faced obstacles, he has stood by his dream and passion and loves what he does.

Dancing is a passion for Haleem Khan. It is also a language that he speaks best as an artist. To him all art is an attempt to create beautiful things. "To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim", Haleem is impressed by these famous words, and constantly aims to realize that. With stage as a canvas, music giving form and rhythm, Classical Dance is an essay and outpouring of feelings - at once a performance but also as an art form comes very close to life. Right from his childhood days, Classical dance form of Kuchipudi fascinated Haleem. Movies were his primary source of inspiration. Long before he fully comprehended the obstacles that had to be faced, Haleem had set his goals to pursue learning Kuchipudi.

Obstacles were many cornered – personal, family, religious bias, financial and conservative milieu surrounding this classical art form. He was fortunate to have found his guru, Sri Kaza Venkata Subhramanyam garu, who spotted him and gave guidance to his passion. Haleem has performed in more than 800 solo and group dance shows in India and abroad.

About 'Agaaz-e-Baatcheet'

Rubaroo selected 125 Youth Champions, between the age group of 18-25 years, who in turn are organising Agaaz-e-Baatcheet. These youth champions from diverse socio economic, religious and gender backgrounds across Hyderabad, were part of a month long journey through a series of activities including workshops on the theme of Interfaith and Identity, symposium with religious leaders of different faiths, conversations with peers from heterogeneous religious communities, and Social Action Projects.

Some of the participating institutions are: Amjad Ali Khan College of Business Administration; Andhra Vidyalaya College of Arts, Science, and Commerce; Babu Jagjeevan Ram Government Degree College; Bhavans New Science Degree College; Dr. VRK Womens Medical College; G. Narayanamma Institute Of Technology; Government City College; Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering Technology; Government Degree College Hussaini Alam; Madina Degree College; Mathru Sri Jr College; Maulana Azad National Urdu University; MNR Degree College; Nanakram Bhagwandas Science College; New Govt Degree College; PRR Law College; Roda Mistry College Of Social Work And Research Centre; Roots College; Shadan Institute Of Medical Science; Sindhu Junior College; Sri Chaitanya Junior Kalashala Govt Degree College; Government Junior College; Osmania University and Vivekananda degree College.

The Social Action Projects will include community walks, food festivals, street plays, short films, musical events, social media campaigns, photo competition, radio show, and other such activities in different parts of Hyderabad.

The forthcoming events during the week include Interfaith Walk in Nampally on 14th November; Interfaith Film Screening on 15th November; Stand Up Comedy by Hriday Ranjan & Sandesh Johnny on 16th November; Qissebaazi by The Hoshruba Repertory by Padma Damodaran & Kailash Waghmare, Directed by Danish Hussain on 17th November; Musical Kabir Evening by Vedanth Bharadwaj & Shruthi Vishwanath, on 18th November and Grand Closure Event, with Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe on 19th November.

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