Monday, 4 January 2021

Surreally virtual! - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Occupying the major part of the year 2020 and throwing the prevailing normalcy "out of joint", civilized life was interrupted over the entire globe and amidst the incomprehensible pandemic, the question facing the artist community (among others) has been, how the challenge was to be overcome? Should it be a face-off, withdrawing oneself to an off-stage seclusion and new images and metaphors could be imagined not too far from one's learned grammar and cannons? Arguably, this seems to be the overall response for the classically groomed dance community. Alternatively, can it be a "bang-on" process, a confrontational mindset, where the vicious catastrophe is looked at in the face and invited for a dual, as it were? Again arguably, this appears to be the world view of the contemporary dancers: free from the canonized hasta mudras and vachik and sattvik abhinaya, they were out on a fantasy battle with the invading demon - little understood as it has been.

The monthly editions of 'Sapphire Creations' spearheaded by Sudarshan Chakravorty, seems to spur on the team's dancers on a direct encounter with the unwelcome visitor and let loose the youthful band to confront the visiting scourge. This is what Sudarshan has to say, "Circumstances have changed but dance hasn't. We have danced on stage, danced on the streets, danced in cafes, bookstores, galleries, boardrooms. Now we will dance online. You will view us in a box. But in your mind's imagination, our energy and spirit will create a new world of movement, beauty, creativity and meaning for you. We will pervade borders with dance, be it physical or digital. We will Dance VividVivid is vivacious, alive and pulsating. This is the new now."

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