A blend of tradition and modernity

A blend of tradition and modernity

Fusion Performance

A blend of tradition and modernity

What happens when B-boying is brought together with the classical beauty of kathak? Bangaloreans were treated to this unique display at a collaboration called ‘Teardrops on Dust’, which was recently presented at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan as part of the ongoing Bangalore International Arts Festival.

UK artistes Wilkie Branson and Joel Daniel collaborated with kathak dancer Mitul Sengupta and drummer Shiladitya Bose to explore the nuances and meeting points of these two distinctive dance forms.

Paul, from the British Council, said, “The dance performance is an experimental work by the artistes. It is a work in progress and the artistes will improvise their work based on the feedback from the audience. ‘Teardrops on Dust’ talks about human distress and despair. Artistes have worked together under the ‘Impulse Fringe’ programme to put up this performance.”

Wilkie explained, “Through this dance, we try to understand another dance form and get a glimpse of another culture. The dance is all about bringing two styles together and understanding where this could take us further.” The artistes had to choreograph the dance in a mere 15 days. “Since we did not have a lot of time in hand, we came up with the steps based on what we have learnt and what we would like to showcase to the audience,” added Wilkie.

Prior to this, the artistes performed in Kolkata. “The performance received mostly positive feedback,” the UK artiste explained.

This was the most-anticipated show of the day and audience members belonging to all age groups were seen enjoying the show. Mrs Rao, a member of the audience, said, “I am used to seeing traditional art forms at such festivals. The dance performance was very unique. Such experiments open doors for artistes to come up with new styles. Encouraging these acts could bring in more creative dance forms.”

Shymala, another member of the audience, said the event had the perfect mix of the modern and traditional dance styles. “I was looking forward to ‘Teardrops on Dust’ as I was curious as to what it was all about. It was very different from traditional dance. Though I enjoyed it, I prefer traditional dance over break dance. But such dance forms definitely need support.”

For people who had come to watch the traditional dance, there was ‘Radha Vadana’, a classical dance performance reflecting the reaction of Lord Krishna at the sight of Radha on the Yamuna as well as Sambalpuri, a tribal dance performed by artistes from Odisha.