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There are several questions ringing in my mind--1) What is contemporary ?2) What is Contemporary Indian DanceIf we take the example of linguistics then for an urban classical dancer like me contemporary would mean "Hinglish" that is what I speak , or "Minglish" ( since Marathi is my mother tongue + english) . So if I use the same analogy for Dance , it would be something which is my dance mother language , which is Bharatanatyam for me and something which I make a choice to use in my Bharatanatyam dance language.So again this is a matter of personal choice, I think. The only important factor which I feel should "distinguish" contemporary Indian dance from others is the use of "face". Most contemporary dance performed elsewhere disconnects face ( except in Butoh , but then Butoh is From east again ). My constant refrain is Contemporary Indian Dance should emanate from the contemporary Indian soil .So coming back to the answer , any dance form is useful for Contemporary Indian Dance , the challenge is how do you develope it into a visually discerning language which makes it -- "Contemporary" , "Indian" and "Contemporary Indian" .
Kalaripayattu - Has been a form that has help tone my body for all forms. In terms of lines, strength and flexibility . Be it Bharatanatyam or Western contemporary ... But one physical tradition that has helped movement artists across the globe for all forms regardless of culture, race or nationalities has been YOGA...One might argue that Kalaripayattu and Yoga are not forms of dance but defining dance is a tricky issue - the way it is defined and popular known is a very western perspective. I would prefer a movement form - which more universal and all encompassing .
I do feel that the Indian classical dance forms as performed by today's top artists are contemporary and relevant. In Quebec - Canada, they have stopped using the term "contemporary" to describe the new developments in dance, and are using the terminology "Danses nouvelles" instead. The term "contemporary dance" as been used for many years to describe the new currents in dance, but the terminology is no longer correct, as other forms of dance with strong roots in an old traditions and heritage are thriving, and continue to speak to audiences around the world, thus contemporary.Jai Govinda.
Interesting to know this "new take " on Inidan classical styles of dance in canada . The point is in Canada they still need to categorise it separately calling it " Danses nouvelles" if not "Contemporary" A few days back a french cameraperson told me , Pina Bausch is no more "Contemporary" she is old to be called 'classical". So what decides something is contemporary -- 'form' or 'content' or both?
any dance form to be aestheticallypragnant[with meaningful messagemust satisfy tha basic critera i.e. of beauty, symetry,pleasing to the mind,heart and soul to the cultured human being.allthese are manifestationsof thesurge of creativityfrom those whose spririts were touched with divinityand humility and humanity.that is what all artis about. ancientand contemporay are skin-deep.--hasmukh desai.navsari-south gujrat.