Sunday 8 March 2020

Interview - 'Question everything': What moulded Aditi Mangaldas' unmouldable style - Shveta Arora

Some time ago, I was at a workshop and performance by the Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company - Drishtikon Dance Foundation. Between the workshop and the performance, Kathak veteran and contemporary choreographer Aditi Mangaldas sat down for an interview with Saattvic, a young actor, classical tabla player and Kathak dancer. Aditi is known as much for her abstract contemporary-dance-based-on-Kathak choreographies, featuring powerful, demanding movements, as for her mastery over technical Kathak and bhava and her evocative use of the classical idiom. The conversation was about how the renowned Kathak exponent develops her productions and what triggers these ideas.

Aditi started by elaborating on how she began questioning and experimenting with the traditional Kathak idiom.

"I started dancing at the age of five with my guru Kumudini Lakhia. My influences were her way of thinking and my family, which happened to be very liberal. We were encouraged to question, debate, agree, disagree... Kumiben often said that whatever was written, was written with reference to context. Question everything, she said.

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