Wednesday 7 February 2018

Classical and contemporary conundrums - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

India has a treasure trove of scintillating myths that have endured for centuries. Laden with layers of meanings and interpretations, these myths have provided continuing sustenance to the intellectual and spiritual ethos of its simple folks as well as discerning individuals. Culled from the epics and puranas, and myriad folklores, they have been a fountainhead of inspiration for all the classical dances of the land. Contemporary dances too, though less frequently, have derived inspiration from these perpetual sources.

It has been a favourite thesis with this critic that in our exhilarating modern times when the role of fate in the human affairs has lost some of its sheen, science and its cohorts have unravelled much of the secrets of life, and technology has made severe inroads into all lifestyle activities - - our dances must try to re-imagine the myths and re-map them in their visualisatiion in the light of modern sensibilities. A good paradigm can be seen in the celluloid world where the simplistic storytelling, the life-size archetypal chacterisation and the narratives leading to easily surmised ends have yielded to far more nuanced treatments of theme and subtle depiction of psyche of the dramatis personae has become the order of the day. Could our dances follow suit? 

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