"It's time to welcome students back to the studios," says choreographer Ashley Lobo!

 Indian-Australian choreographer Ashley Lobo has been creatively adapting to the new normal during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since March-end, despite the closure of physical studios, his institute, The Danceworx (TDX) offered online tutorials, workshops, and virtual sessions to its massive student-base in New Delhi, Mumbai, and other cities. Now finally from the third week of November, TDX has started a few of its in-studio classes, and students couldn't be happier. As a full-fledged academy and dance school, TDX decided that it was time to partially open its doors to students while keeping every possible safety protocol in mind.

Ashley says, “Learning and teaching dance are all about a tactile exchange of energy in real-time. Even though we have been virtually keeping our students on their toes since March, we feel it is time to welcome them back to the studios. None of us can, however, take this privilege of meeting each other face-to-face for granted any more and we will be ensuring that all sanitation and safety protocols are in place.”

Ashley, who has been challenging himself to design new routines within contained spaces and even contributed an excerpt of his masterpiece ‘Agni’  for a fundraiser hosted by #ArtMatters, is now looking forward to this new step towards partial normalisation and says, “In Mumbai, we have opened the studio in Andheri and in Delhi, the Gurgaon studio is ready to welcome students. We have no plans to open more studios and will just monitor the current situation."

For the safety of students and faculty, the academy is not permitting more than 10 students per batch. They will also follow all safety protocols in terms of thermal temperature checks, regular cleaning and sanitization of studios and washrooms, social distancing, wearing of masks, etc, strictly to ensure all goes smoothly.

Ashley concludes, “These are extraordinary times but we are learning to deal with the challenges with absolute humility, mindfulness and care. For now, we are taking a few tentative steps towards more organic ways of teaching and learning and hoping for the best.”

Ashley Lobo is renowned for his Prana Paint™ technique, a unique sensitizing approach developed by him that explores movement through yoga, breath, connectivity, and touch. This notable technique has put him on the international map and led to him being invited to teach and choreograph overseas. His choreographic style has a strong influence of cinematic techniques combined with a clear narrative. Lobo has to his credit, over 30 Hindi films and as many stage productions and has also been a judge on India’s Dancing Superstar on Star Plus.

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