Multilayered language of dance at international festival

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016,13:44 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Dancers from different parts of the world showcased indigenous interpretations at the first edition of the International Contemporary Dance Festival, which puts under the spotlight an array of choreographies from both India and across the globe.

The 3-day long festival opened at the Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts here last evening with two performances ‘The Colour White’ presented as a collaboration between Iranian musician Fakhroddin Ghaffari and French dancer Gilles Chuyenand and ‘The Mystical Forest’ created by choreographer Santosh Nair.

The two opening performances drew a sharp contrast as Chuyenand portrayed layers of personal connection with the colour white, while Nair created a wild, loud and energetic vocabulary of traditional Mayurbhanj Chhau with strong contemporary movements painting the life inside a forest. It was lovely to see two different kinds of performances with contrasting interpretations of contemporary dance where one brought the calmness of white and another all the colours together to sketch the wild forest, said celebrated choreographer Ashley Lobo.

As the dancers presented internalised untamed movements of the wildlife through their 45-minute long performance, the dance lovers who came to see the performances got their adrenaline running through-out the show watching the lines, lengths, lifts and energy of the dancers specially lauding the entry and exit of dancers through the audience. I could not help but give a standing ovation to the performance as it was mesmerising.

Being a Mayurbhanj Chhau dancer, I know how much effort it takes to create a flawless performance like this, said Delhi-based dancer Vinod. Overwhelmed by the reactions of the audience which and applauded and cheered his choreography, Nair said he was glad to see his efforts to defy the international image of Indian contemporary through infusing Chhau was being appreciated.

Festival curator Suresh Goel said the event was an attempt to fuse traditional Indian dance forms into a contemporary canvas. We wanted to exhibit how an art as a means of communication can transpire internationally as we retain traditional contemporary and absorb western contemporary, Goel, the former director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations said.

Goel said there has been an explosion in the country of contemporary dance based on Indian tradition, which looks very international and that its future is immense.

The festival also feature works by Swiss performer Gregory Stauffer and dancers Sangeeta Sharma and Sumeet Nagdev among others and among the varied choreographies includes a narrative of the Mahabharata war. The festival, a partnership with Culture Ministry, ICCR, British Council and Pro Helvetia, is set to conclude on March 31.