A complete ignoramus when it comes to dance forms, I was initiated to Indian classical dance by a close friend who is a trained danseuse of the Bharatnatyam form. After attending a few dance performances by her and others in Pune, I was re-introduced to Indian classical dance in Bangalore, at the Alliance Française !
Dance DISCourse, a brilliantly executed programme run by Ashish Mohan Khokar. Son of the late Mohan Khokar a pioneering scholar and dance historian, director and curator of the Dance Archives of India, Mr. Khokar conceived the series as a means of educating dance lovers about the many dance forms that exist in India through historical films from the Mohan Khokar archives as well as performances by established and upcoming dancers of the country. An excellent platform to promote Indian classical dance, Dance DISCourse is now in its fourth year at the Alliance Française de Bangalore, which hosts the bi-monthly series.
Last year’s Dance DISCourse events opened my eyes to the lyrical flow of the poses in Odissi, reacquainted me to the structured versatility of Bharatnatyam and amazed me with the almost mathematical rhythm of a Kathak dancer’s feet movements.
World Dance Day when over a hundred dancers graced the stage and brought the campus of the Alliance Française alive with the sound of their ghungroos shall remain one of my most cherished memories of Dance DIScourse and I am already counting down to World Dance Day 2013 !
This year, the series started with Tridhara, an event showcasing three dance forms – Odissi, Kathak and Bharatnatyam. Three upcoming dancers individually presented their chosen dance form, leaving the audience spellbound with their poise, grace and energy. The evening culminated with a unique confluence of the three dance forms. Set to the music of Taufiq Qureshi‘s Rhydhun, choreographed by Sweekruth BP (the Kathak dancer) it had the audience mesmerised. The brilliance of the choreography and execution of this last piece lay in the way the three dancers synchronised their individual styles to the fast paced tunes of Rhydhun and each other. Every movement corresponded to the beats of the Taufiq Qureshi’s composition and the three dancers moved in unison across the stage to a standing ovation.
Indian classical dance may find its origins in 1000 BC, but it’s a tradition that has continued to evolve over the centuries and with dance performances like this one, it will continue to keep the audience rapt for centuries to come !