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Class of Their Own

Recently,Vivek High School’s Founder’s Day celebrations had an unusual guest on board — Tom Alter.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor |
December 18, 2011 1:05:25 am

Recently,Vivek High School’s Founder’s Day celebrations had an unusual guest on board — Tom Alter. The thespian was here to direct a play for and by the students. Last week,ace choreographer Astad Deboo also took time out to teach dance to the students of Strawberry Fields World School. Besides,actor Loveleen Mishra,filmmakers Rajkumar Gupta,Anurag and Abhinav Kashyap,and writer Chatura Rao are regulars at Dikshant International School.

Celebrities now seem to be focusing on school children to share their experiences,expertise and hold creatively charged workshops. There are many more instances. Bharatnatyam exponent Navtej Johar gave tips to boys on the classical dance form at St John’s High School. Mime artist Niranjan Goswami spent time with special children at the Vatika School in Sector 19. As part of NDTV’s Marks for

Sports campaign,Gul Panag visited schools in Chandigarh along with Olympian Abhinav Bindra.

A strong supporter of a fit life,Panag feels it all begins at school. “That’s why I said yes to this campaign,for children need to be fit and channelise their energies into something positive and what better than a sport,” quipped Panag at St Stephen’s School.

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Thrilled to have a celebrity in their school,the students of Dikshant International School rushed to Rajkumar Gupta with questions on filmmaking and scriptwriting. “The children today are proactive and intelligent,” said an overwhelmed Gupta,adding how one has got to catch them young. Last week,Anurag and Abhinav Kashyap,along with Kalki Koechlin,were guests of honour at Dikshant’s 10th founder’s day celebrations,for which they also played a friendly cricket match.

This year,SPICMACAY held all their concerts in the institutes of learning. From Madan Gopal Singh,Saskia Rao De Haas to Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt,each of the music doyens performed for children. “If they are not exposed to the classical form,they will never know. Hence,it’s important to initiate them into arts at an early age,” said Saskia,who explained to the students everything she played.

Meanwhile,Goswami is conducting mime workshops across schools to spot the talent and take those children under his wing. “I’ve already spotted two here,” he said,talking about the workshop held at Vatika School.


Alter,who was the only adult character in Vivek High’s annual production,Babur Ki Aulad,was all praise for the young actors. Children,he said,have a fresh approach to everything. The students were happy too. “We spent so many hours rehearsing with him,learning voice modulation,eye contact,dialogue delivery. The best part is that he doesn’t lecture,” quipped one of them.

At Strawberry Fields World School,music is an intrinsic part of the curriculum. While late Jagjit Singh was a regular here,having written the school’s morning prayer and conducted jugalbandi sessions with the children,the school’s director,Atul Khanna,recently invited Shubha Mudgal and Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan for sessions on vocal and instrumental music. Dancer and choreographer Astad Deboo will also stage his production here soon. “For Deboo,it’s about connecting with the children and making them break away from their limitations,’’ says Khanna.

Theatre artiste and social activist MK Raina worked with students of Vivek High School on his production,Jasma Odan ,a folklore based on the lives of the Kathiwar tribals in Gujarat. “Plays are tools of education and act as confidence builders for students,” he says,adding,“Theatre plays a part in widening their perspective and children’s theatre is purely therapeutic. It completes the process of learning and personality development.”


It’s surely a welcome trend and change for the city.

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First published on: 18-12-2011 at 01:05:25 am
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