Ever seeking new challenges and scaling artistic heights, contemporary dancer Astad Deboo choreographed Rhythm Divine II- River Runs Deep, with traditional drummers from Imphal, Manipur, in collaboration with Shree Shree Govindaji Natsankirtan headed by Guru Seityaban Singh. Presented by Astad Deboo Dance Foundation and Raza Foundation on March 3 at Kamani Auditorium, Delhi, the show was a runaway success from the word go.
Astad has been working with Manipuri martial artists and drummers for the past 16 years. Ten years ago, the young, vigorous, steeped in their own cultural traditions Pung Cholom drummers performing in a comforting cycle of familiar security, and he started working together. Astad interacted with them with help of Guru Seityaban Singh, and planned contemporary work, exploring the tradition of Pung Cholom with eight drummers drawing inspiration from their movements, extracting the essential movements minus drums, resorting to abstraction, choreographing sections which reflected, as Astad explained in his program notes, more open articulation of old fears through bold, new creative with music and movement, a brasher engagement with restlessness and frustration.
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