Dance Department of North Carolina University at Charlotte in USA organized under the leadership of Assistant Professor, Odissi dancer Kaustavi Sarkar, an international dance conference titled 'Sensate Technicities, Dance Connecting Communities' in collaboration with Odissi International, and India Association of Charlotte from 3rd till 5th May 2019.
From India, I was invited to participate. When I arrived on 2nd May, I came to learn that there was shooting on the campus and two students were killed. Not only that, there was another shooting in an apartment and one more person had died. The university campus was inaccessible, police had cordoned off the campus, and Kaustavi and her Head of the Dance Department were under great tension if the conference could take place or not under such circumstances.
However, the situation was soon under control and the green signal given with revised schedule. On Friday the 3rd May in Robinson Hall in room number 330 South Asian Studies, there was an opening as some other program was cancelled. Kaustavi arranged my talk during the discussion of South Asian Aesthetics. Since I had the film on the legendary dancer Ram Gopal, it was decided to screen it as none of the dancers present and participating in conference had ever heard of him. The screening took all of them by surprise that besides Uday Shankar who had put Indian dance on the world map, Ram Gopal had with his solo performances put classical Bharatanatyam and Kathakali on the world map. Later on he had also choreographed The Legend of Taj, based on the historical story of Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal as a dance-drama at Edinburgh Dance Festival.
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