Goan Choreographer Sudesh Salgaonkar Honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Sudesh Salgaonkar, also known as Sudesh Nirbhaya, is a Goan choreographer, engineer, and founder of the IT firm VIVA Networks, who has forged a remarkable path by blending his engineering expertise with a passion for Indian folk dances, earning him numerous accolades over the past two decades. Recently, he was honoured with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Starting from local competitions in his village, Salgaonkar’s journey as a specialist in Indian folk dances has been adorned with national and international awards. Notably, he was awarded Best Dance Choreographer – GOA at the International Glory Award (IGA) 2019 and received special recognition from former Prime Minister of Nepal, Madhav Kumar. Moreover, he holds the distinction of being the sole representative from Goa at six All India dance competitions. 

Salgaonkar’s achievements extend to choreographing significant events such as the 2023 National Games’ closing ceremony in Goa and welcoming Sadhguru for the Save Soil movement. He also runs Nirbhaya Bhavan Dance School, collaborating with institutions like Bal Bhavan, Panaji, and various governmental bodies across 13 centres in Goa. The school offers training in diverse dance forms including classical, western, Bollywood, contemporary, and hip hop, alongside a fitness program tailored for women.

Looking ahead, Salgaonkar aims to introduce his dance curriculum in educational institutions, proposing a structured syllabus and examination format that he believes can help alleviate stress among students. His vision includes making dance accessible to all ages, promoting physical health, core strength, and flexibility through comprehensive training programs.

“We have created a short-term course kind of format for learning dance with a properly set syllabus and exam pattern. I am in talks with the Goa Education Department to start this new curriculum at high school and university level soon,” Salgaonkar shares. “I hope the Government will accept my proposal because currently, students are under a lot of stress. However, if they dance for 40 to 45 minutes, it can reduce this anxiety and stress.”

Salgaonkar’s dedication to dance education and his innovative approach exemplify his commitment to preserving and promoting India’s rich cultural heritage on both national and global stages.

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