When global meets local

Art with heart

When global meets local

Shaked Dagon (26), an Israeli dancer and choreographer, is all fired up about her project called ‘2nd Home India’.

She seeks to combine the talent of artistes from different countries to produce an interactive performance piece that she hopes to take to schools across the country.

Artistes from five countries – Israel, Denmark, USA, Poland and Canada – have signed up for the project, which is slated to begin this summer in Challal village of Himachal Pradesh, where the group will stay for two months.

Shaked says she hit upon the idea of combining music and theatre during her first trip to India in 2010.

On her list of eager and willing participants, there are no Indians though. “I got in touch with many Indian artistes and organisations. They showed some interest but no one has come forward to lend support either by being a part of the project or by extending financial support. However, I will go ahead because I am hopeful that they will join soon,” Shaked declares.

In return for the hospitality extended to her group by the local community in Challal, Shaked will host classes for interested residents.

“I visited India at a time when I had no clear idea about what I wanted to do with my life. That is when I visited Challal too. I not only got peace but also a sense of energy and positivity. I got new ideas.

Throughout the journey I noticed the significance of art and culture in the daily life of people here. As an artiste, I felt inspired and I started to think of ways to merge my own art with the local art,” explains Shaked, who teaches a technique called Gaga (not to be confused with the self-proclaimed diva).

“The technique was invented by Ohad Naharin, a choreographer with a dance company in Israel,” she says.

Shaked has confirmed partipation from Carson Reiners, a contemporary dancer from New Jersey; Birgitte Lundtoft, a graduate of the Danish National School of Performing Arts and a dancer with the Batsheva Ensemble, and Monica Smekot, a Polish dancer, choreographer, actress and video artiste.

Monica holds a Master’s degree in Indian Studies from the University of Krakow, and a diploma in Hindi, having studied in Delhi. With experience in yoga, flamenco, buttoh and Indian classical dances, she hopes to add elements of Indian dance into the troupe’s interactive performance piece.

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