'Dance is all about letting go'

ACCLAIMED ARTISTE

For most dancers, dance is a medium of expression. But for choreographer and composer Hofesh Shechter from the United Kingdom, dance means
freedom.

The artiste, who travelled to Mumbai and Chennai before coming to Bangalore, talks to Metrolife about the art form and his journey so far.

Ask Hofesh about his stay in India and he says that it was full of rich experiences, tastes and people. “All the cities are very different from each other. While things are crazy and messy at most places, it is amazing to see how organised and stylish Bangalore is,” he says.

“I ate a lot of South Indian food here though I wouldn’t be able to give you the names of the dishes,” he jokes. Hofesh feels that though everyone in India seems busy, it’s amazing to see how no one seems angry. “Europe is an aggressive and hard place. Here, you can make eye contact with people and not seem out of place. But in Europe, it’s not considered proper. People are more cool and relaxed here. And it looks like everything is easy here,” he says.

Hofesh says that he is aware of the growing contemporary dance scene in the country. Having conducted a dance workshop in the City, he says that he saw a lot of talented people.

“It was an interesting experience. The participants were hearty and full of enthusiasm,” he notes.

Ask the choreographer if there is a particular age to start dancing and he says that it’s not something definite. “I started when I was 15. There are many people I know who started when they were 18. It’s not about when you start but how you start,” he says, adding, “An education in dance that encourages people to discover more movements than one is the best way to start.” Hofesh says that learning classical ballet is a good thing. “Flexibility and strength are things one discovers with ballet. The strongest dancers in the world are the ones who have versatility — those who can do one thing and also another,” says Hofesh.

So what is dance for Hofesh? “It is a framework that provides total freedom. There is a freedom to dream, experience, create, say and express things one wouldn’t say otherwise. For me, it’s all about letting go and sharing all the emotions with others as well,” he answers.

As soon as he starts working on something new, his last piece becomes
irrelevant, he informs. “The different lessons I’ve learnt from each work is to lose hope and find it again. Each piece is more about one’s emotional state and knowing when to let go. It’s more about the rhythm of work,” he says. Hofesh’s works revolve around the same thing — finding and questioning one’s place in the world. “While some are based on relationships, some are about a group of people. By the time I finish the piece, I feel how similar we all are and how pathetic we all are!”

Hofesh feels that the topmost characteristics a dancer should have are humility and humanity. “Fragile, honest, musical and rhythmical emotions are important. Being able to move from one thing to another is essential,” he wraps up.

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