Performance sans boundaries

Freestyle

There is so much that can be said through movement alone. And when an exponent in the field of dance like Astad Deboo is the one behind the choreography, the performance is sure to leave you astounded.

Coordinated: The dancers on stage.Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Astad Deboo, who has gained wide acclaim for his dance and choreography and the signature style that he has developed, was in town to present his newest production ‘Breaking Boundaries’.

Played to a select audience at a City five star hotel ballroom, the performance was well attended and better received. The ballroom was full of applauding audience who raised glasses at the end of every piece. Deboo, who has previously worked with students with hearing disabilities, decided to produce this performance with 13 street children from the Salaam Balak Trust, New Delhi. The students, who were trained by Deboo, have had no formal training in dance before and have been exposed to Bollywood dancing alone. The performance was put together and premiered in 2009.

‘Breaking Boundaries’ is a trademark Deboo production drawing influences from his training in both classical and contemporary forms. The production dealt with the basic concepts of space, movement and balance in dance. The dancers were involved in some high energy and heavily balance dependent movements that made one sit back and take notice. There were five pieces in all with one composed by U Srinivas, one by Rakesh Chaurasia and three by composer Philip Tan. Most of the pieces were introduced by Deboo himself, talking about the movements involved and the basic aim of the piece.

Particularly interesting was a piece that made use of two benches as props. The dancers showed immense talent in the use of these props and in balance-oriented movements.

This piece was to emphasise on the meaning of space. The last piece of the performance was one in Deboo’s signature style and was accompanied by some fast-paced energetic music. This is when Deboo himself got on stage and presented a few moves. Following a few solo seconds for Deboo on stage were the dancers who took over and set the house clapping.

While the performance kept most in the audience pleased, the ballroom ambience with round tables did create some visibility issues especially when the dancers bent down and took to the floor. Altogether, the evening ended with many smiling people and a few sprained necks.

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