The language of modern dance

The language of modern dance

Energetic moves

Skillful: Ganda Berunda, a dance piece.

The new creation needs to be relevant to the present day and time. Providing Bangaloreans a glimpse of  what is ‘modern’ in Indian dance was Ashish Mohan Khokar’s Dance DISCourse held at Alliance Francaise recently. Held in collaboration with Nritarutya, it stirred a debate on the differences between contemporary and modern dance. Dance lovers and dancers were seen discussing about the different perceptions of modern dance.

Khokar used three dance pieces by Nritarutya to illustrate the language of modern dance. ‘Mars’, one of their pieces, aimed to expose the many layers and dimensions that make a man. The piece was highly energetic and purely dance-based. It was interesting to see props like a see-saw being used in a metaphorical manner to highlight the various levels that exist in the societal representation of man.

Ganda Berunda was inspired from the two-headed Indian mythical bird. The dance was designed for a ‘duo’ and had elaborate costuming. Coloured body suits along with head-gear and wings made up the costume. Music included a haunting Arabic melody, which complemented the piece, making the entire choreography sculptural and interesting.

The event also included videos of some of their works. ‘Ardhanarishwara’ was a piece which emphasised on the line of sight and the significance of space in movement arts. The piece was frontal in design and would have been a spoiler for people sitting on the sides.

‘Puppets’ was an equally interesting piece. The sequence delved into the life of puppets after they were put away for the day. While the video alone had so much of an impact, one was left wondering how it would look in real. An audience member, appreciating the initiative, said, “When you are watching dance, it is mainly supposed to provide either ‘Aatmaranjan’ or ‘Manoranjan’. While classical dance mainly focusses on ‘Aatmaranjan, these performances mainly provided ‘Manoranjan’.

Sushma Venkat, an IT professional, on the other hand said, “The pieces were quite an eye-opener but somewhere down the line, they seemed to lack the depth of classical dance. However, that could also be because of my personal bias towards anything termed contemporary or modern.”

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