In November, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, organized a Festival of Contemporary Dance. Opening the annual event was this year's Sangeet Natak Akademi awarded Dr. Anita Ratnam.
During her succinct and articulate introduction, Anita carved her aesthetic style that embraced the contemporary on the lines of her own journey from being a classical dancer to a contemporary dreamer and a modern woman. While classical forms like Bharatanatyam are limited to certain areas in Mumbai like Chembur, Sion and Matunga, the Mumbai city has the most thriving contemporary dance and theatre scene in the country. As a relentless collaborator and a passionate supporter of new expressions in the live arts, Anita is a very important presence in the landscape of modern Indian arts.
In an interview published in NCPA's ON STAGE magazine a week before her performance, Anita has been quoted as saying that her personal vocabulary of NEO BHARATAM was a long sought excavation of various movement vocabularies for her maturing body. She said, "I wonder why dancers, when they mature, want to look young. How does one remain relevant in a society that is obsessed with youth and air-brushed beauty? Neo Bharatam hopes to provide one of the answers. It is an exciting time for contemporary dance in India, which is looking at a sunrise moment."
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