Connecting people, cultures and epochs

Connecting people, cultures and epochs

Dance Medley

Each art form, culture, philosophy, retains its original form and thought process in my choreographies. It’s in the meeting with the other art form or culture that the opening or the transformation takes place,” says Rukmini Chatterjee.

The Bharatanatayam dancer, born in Delhi and living in Paris since 24 years, says, “I am also very influenced by the Hindu way of looking at things, which does not believe in originality. Each idea, each sentiment, exits somewhere in the universe since the very beginning of this cycle. It is one’s individual vision and expression which gives it it’s originality.”

 Her beliefs were reflected in her dance performance ‘Connections’, an annual international performing arts festival connecting people, cultures and epochs through innovative collaborations. The festival, held at Shri Ram Centre of Performing Arts,
had two performances.

‘Heaven and Earth’ with the concept and artistic direction of Chatterjee. She was assisted by Bruno Bouché from the opera of Paris.

Dancers from the Paris opera came together with Bharatanatyam and tango dancers to celebrate the universality of emotions. The pluralism was reflected in the choice of musicians as well. An Indian percussionist, French cello and violin players, an accordion player and an acoustician also brought forth an electronic and contemporary sound to the whole piece.

The second performance was a reflection of a journey through dance and music between Europe and Argentina.

“What animates my choreography and performances is a quest to understand life and human nature; the quest of the individual soul for the universal one, the very essential of Bharatanatyam,” says Chatterjee.

“I explore these themes not as an individual dancer with her group of traditional musicians, but by bringing together multiple art forms and cultures, on the same stage, exploring together a specific theme. The dialogue born of the meetings of these varied art forms, exploring together the different facets of life, is rich, delicate and complex all at the same time. It also means understanding and accepting differences and paradoxes. Truth may be one, but its paths are many and sometimes contradictory,” she says.

She adds, “The moment of sharing these choreographic dialogues with audiences in different parts of the world, who receive and feel these meetings in a direct and simple manner is the moment of truth for me. Thus, the choreographic creation becomes the form, for sharing these moments of truth.”