Sunday 18 March 2018

Samabhavana churns out myriad starry thoughts on new directions in Indian dance - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

Indian Contemporary  dancers, a vibrant presence but without the kind of establishment support their colleagues representing other dance categories seem to command,  have over almost a century functioned as an isolated group comprising diverse individualistic movement expressions. The odd stock taking events looking at this side of Dance Exploration were The East-West Dance Encounter in 1984 and later in 1993, and new explorations featured in Sangeet Natak Akademi’s ‘Nava Nritya Samaroh’ in 1989. Now, in Kolkata comes the latest effort at bringing dancers, scholars and writers to interact on the nature of Contemporary Dance in India, and its future prospects.

Curated with great care by Sudarshan Chakravorty and Paramita Saha of Sapphire Dance Creations of Kolkata, the two day  SAMABHAVANA effort on new directions in Indian dance, churned out varied thinking on the dancing body, which, through history, has had to deal with institutions of power controlling culture – whether temple, court or an elected government. The entire history of dance in India at one time was written on the body of the Devadasi, resulting in this traditional group of professional entertainers being crushed.

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