Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Samabhavana: Celebrating New Directions in Indian Dance - Footloose and fancy free with Dr. Sunil Kothari


Sapphire Creations Dance Company, Kolkata, commemorated its 25th year with historic moment in the Indian Arts by organizing a two-day dance conference on 3rd and 4th March at ICCR's Nandalal Gallery under four segments - Provocations, Explorations, Transformations and Negotiations - at Abanindranath Gallery and performances at Satyajit Ray Auditorium. The second day performance Beautiful Thing 2 by Padmini Chettur was held as part of Pickle Factory Season 1 Festival opening performance at Gem Cinema. The sessions were held from 11am back to back in a tight schedule with a large number of participants with a clear agenda to see how New Direction in Indian Dance have moved forward from earlier times. 

By fortuitous circumstances, I had participated in the historic East West Dance Encounter held in 1984 by Dr. Georg Lechner, Director of Max Muller Bhavan in collaboration with NCPA in Mumbai, followed by another in 1985 titled New Directions in Indian Dance. The other conferences which followed like one organized by Rabindra Bharati University inviting Mrinalini Sarabhai, Kumudini Lakhia, Chandralekha, Manjushri Chaki Sircar in Kolkata in1985, followed by Nava Nritya Samaroha in Delhi in 1989 by Sangeet Natak Akademi and in Toronto, Canada, by Sudha Khandwani and Rasesh Thakkar also titled New Directions in Indian Dance in 1993 and one more in Delhi by Max Mueller Bhavan in 1997 provided the background for the present Samabhavana to celebrate, debate and dissect the yesterday, today and tomorrow of Indian Contemporary Dance.

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