Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sensibilities of a Modern Man - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

What is Indian dance and what could be its new directions? Is there anything ever new, when it comes to the human body in terms of its form and what it should seek to portray in terms of content? These and other provocative questions were pointedly raised in Samabhavana, an impressive, two-day national level meet in Kolkata on March 3 and 4, 2018: to debate about directions, possibilities and developments in Indian dance. This was spearheaded by Sapphire Creations who has striven, since 1992, to create first an idiom and a language, and then a whole vocabulary of contemporary dance in eastern India over the last quarter of a century.

Playing the role of an agent provocateur, this critic, when invited, premised his broad thesis on the modern man’s perceptions of what he is and what he is not.  He is certainly not the one-dimensional man portrayed by Herbert Marcuse. Nor is he the Fallen Man -- tumbling headlong into a bottomless abyss – as painted by Krishen Khanna nor is he the bewildered entity looking with bemused eyes into the fast-receding past, from the back of a speeding truck surging ahead. Au contraire -- aware that he is born in the present century – he has his sensibilities in the right place and, among other things, is reasonably aware of his heritage as well as potency of the visual and performing arts that are civilization’s gifts to him. 

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