Syed Sallauddin Pasha

Syed Sallauddin Pasha is a Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancer, Choreographer, Actor and Founder Artistic Director of Ability Unlimited,[1] a therapeutic dance theater on Wheelchairs in India. He is recognized for his pioneering therapeutic theater productions for persons with special needs.[2] In 2007 he received the National Award for the welfare of persons with disabilities in 2007-08 from Pratibha Patil.[3]

Syed Sallauddin Pasha
Syed Sallauddin Pasha
Syed Sallauddin Pasha
Born (1968-06-15) 15 June 1968 (age 52)
Alma materBangalore University
OccupationBharatanatyam and Kathak Dancer, Actor, Director, Choreographer, Therapeutic Theater Director for persons with special needs
Years active1983-present

Pasha is a Limca Book of Records holder for creating 100 dance theater productions and directing 10,000 performances persons with different-abilities.[4] His student Gulshan Kumar entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for spinning his wheelchair 63 times in one minute in 2011.[5]

Pasha is a trained[6] and established Bharatanatyam Dancer. He is also an empanelled[7] Bharatnatyam, Kathak and theater artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations,[8] and an 'A Grade' Dancer of Doordarshan, India's National Television Channel. Pasha's group has staged more than 10,000 shows worldwide with disabled dancers, including on International Yoga Day[9] in June, 2015.

Life and careerEdit

Pasha teaching Dance to Visually Impaired Girls

Syed Sallauddin Pasha, born in 1968, hails from a family of healers[10] from Anekal, Karnataka, India.

As a child he enacted lead roles in Kannada and Sanskrit plays and Studied Carnatic music from TS Ramamani. He studied Bharatanatyam under late K. P. Kittappa Pillai, Narmada and Padmini Rao and Kathak under late Maya Rao.[11]

He graduated as a Choreographer from Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography, Bangalore University and Pasha studied Pharmacy and registered as pharmacist from Karnataka State Pharmacy Council[12]. He has worked with Theater and Film personalities of the country like B.V. Karanth, M.S. Sathyu of Garm Hava fame and Renuka Sharma, actors Vishnuvardhan and Ramesh Aravind.[13]

He also runs a non profit organisation by the name of Ability Unlimited, dedicated for persons with disabilities.

Performances and reviewsEdit

Pasha has promoted dance and movement therapy for people with special needs.[14][15]

He directed Europe's biggest therapeutic theater project Ramayana on Wheels with 108 Finnish special children and adults, in collaboration with Espoo, which was performed at International Theater Festival. He has also conducted therapeutic workshops for tsunami victims.[16] He has also orchestrated Durga and Martial Arts on Wheels with 200 differently-abled children and adults.[17]

His dance productions include Bharatanatyam on wheelchairs, Sufi dance on wheelchairs, Yoga on wheelchairs, Bhagawad Gita on wheelchairs, Ramayana On wheels, Rumi On Wheels, Chariots of the Gods, wheelchair on wings.[18]

Pasha has presented his dance performances at Rastrapati Bhavan for the President of India Pranab Mukherjee.[19] His Miracle On Wheels show for the United Nation Information Centre[20] and Indian Council for UN Relations on 2 May 2015 at FICCI auditorium, New Delhi on the anniversary of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.[21]

Pasha presented his Miracle on wheel performance for Taj Mahotsav in February, 2015.[22] He has also presented Kathak Dance Performance in conjunction with the exhibition of "Islamic Art of India" on the occasion of the exhibition launching in March, 2002 at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad and for the special performance graced by His Majesty Sirajuddin of Perlis, King of Malaysia.

Work in film and televisionEdit

Pasha choreographed Chande Pe Dance song for a special episode on the Persons with disabilities in the first season of Aamir Khan's TV series Satyamev Jayate.[23] He has acted as Saint Shishunala Sharif in Kannada tele-serial, Eshwaran Alla Nine Yalla directed by Renuka Sharama. He acted in the Kannada Film Parva with late Kannada superstar Dr.Vishnuvardhan. He danced for M.S. Sathyu's doordarshan serial Kayar in 1992. This serial was based on the novel Kayar originally written in Malayalam by Jnanpith awardee Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai in 1978. "The novel traces the evolution of the central Travancore society from the early 19th century to the mid-twentieth century. In his masterpiece Kayar (1978) Thakazhi Sivashankara Pillai tells a story spanning more than 200 years, of the rise and fall of different communities in his birth place Kuttanad. While being the history of a region, Kayar captures the essence of the revolutionary shifts in Kerala history, with reference to the changing pattern of land holding."[24]

Awards and recognitionEdit

Syed Sallauddin Pasha with Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam[25] former President of India


  1. ^ "FOUNDER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - Ability Unlimited".
  2. ^ "BBC - Pasha at Gibside School".
  3. ^ a b "Annual Report 2007-2008" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Traversing Tradition".
  5. ^ "Boy spins a world record, on a wheelchair". Rediff. 20 May 2011.
  6. ^ Veejay Sai. "Bharatanatyam on wheels: A classical dancer breaks new ground".
  7. ^ "Indian Council For Cultural Relations Revised Empanelment List as on 26/09/2012" (PDF). Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Outgoing cultural Delegations 2010-2011" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Differently-abled perform asanas on wheelchairs". The Indian Express. 22 June 2015.
  10. ^ "I spent 20 hours on wheelchair: Guru Syed Sallauddin Pasha". The Times of India.
  11. ^ "Tryst with ability". The Hindu.
  12. ^ "Karnataka State Pharmacy Council". Karnataka State Pharmacy Council.
  13. ^ "Traversing Tradition".
  14. ^ "Pasha at Gibside School". BBC. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Wheelchair-bound Indian dancers captivate UAE audience - Emirates 24|7". 28 May 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  16. ^ "A pioneer in therapeutic theatre - NEW DELHI". The Hindu. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  17. ^ Lal, Neeta. "Ability Unlimited | Features | Disabilities". Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Wheelchairs on wings". The Hindu. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Indra Dhanush Detail". The President of India. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  20. ^ "UNIC For India and Bhutan Press Release". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Disabled artists performing dances at Miracle on Wheels show on the... News Photo | Getty Images". 2 May 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  22. ^ ":: Welcome to Taj Mahotsav ::". Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  23. ^ Persons with Disabilities - Episode Song - Chanda Pe Dance. YouTube. 9 June 2012.
  24. ^ "Decolonising the land". The Hindu.
  25. ^ Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
  26. ^ "Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Ibni-Al Marhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail".
  27. ^ "Syed Sallaudin Pasha tanssi läpi kathakin historian".
  28. ^ Certificate of Appreciation from Action Aid International: for conducting Therapeutic Theatre Play/Workshop for | Tsunami affected people at Andaman and Nicobar Islands."PVA Final - emergency review.pmd - ActionAid".
  29. ^ "Social & Cultural Achievement".
  30. ^ "Global Awards for Social Justice & Citizen Action by the people sector".
  31. ^ "Report - Attendance awards 2012 - P Praveen Kumar".
  32. ^ "Santhulan Dance Connect - 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  33. ^ "Mangaluru: Alva's Nudisiri from Nov 26, 10 achievers chosen for award". Retrieved 20 April 2016.

External linksEdit