Friday 19 April 2019

Creative dances surging ahead! - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Contemporary dance in India, as practiced in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, is generally known by the same name, but in Kolkata, the prevailing nomenclature is "creative dance". Whatever, they all draw a clear divisive line from the classical dance practices in India, now clearly categorized and recognized by Sangeet Natak Akademi. Nabanritya, the brainchild of Manjushri Chaki Sircar (and her gifted daughter Ranjabati: both, alas, no more!) had veered more towards the creative dance genre since its inception in the 1950s and 1960s, with a very inclusive outlook in its bold formulation. 

With clear roots in the dance theatre of IPTA in the post-Independence years, Manjushri allowed herself to be influenced by Manipur's pre-Vaishnavite Lai Haraoba and later Vaishnava traditions on one side, and Purulia Chhau and Bengal's folk dances on the other side, simultaneously encompassing Indian classical genres to define techniques, movements, costumes and even music, as might suit them.....

Presented on March 31, Dream without wings at the Sapphire Annual Gala 2019, by the Sapphire Creations Dance Troupe and Sapphire Dance Academy, was an extravaganza, performed by some 50 dancers - spanning the age groups between 4 to 45 years - to tell the story of our children and what they aspire to be. Directed by Sudarshan Chakravorty, who has led Sapphire for all 26 years, the choreography was cascaded - in age -- from the younger lots to the gradually older ones, till one arrived at the professional company, who backed up to provide the "mirror image" of what the toddler alongside wanted to become -- or was it not to become? -- and be fulfilled, or frustrated, as the case might be. ....

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