In the first edition of Bonjour India in 2009 I had walked away mesmerised by the elegance of Isabelle Anna and Quincy Charles who performed Kathak on western music in “Opus à Kathak.” Of all the events I attended in Pune, it was the Kathak performance that stayed with me for the longest time.
The second edition of Bonjour India finds me in Bangalore, enjoying a wider range of events, adding even more colour to my cultural experiences in the city. The first major event of Bonjour India 2013 had an impact much like “Opus à Kathak” in 2009. Urban Ballet, conceptualised and choreographed by Anthony Egéa of Compagnie Revolution is a skillful mélange of hip- hop and classical dance forms set to the haunting tunes of Vivaldi, Ravel, Iannis Xenakis and Franck II Louise.
The dancers ruled the stage from the very first piece, a solo piece that highlighted the dancer’s adroit flexibility and grace to the last mesmerising piece in which the group took over the stage with their swift yet elegant moves, darting across the stage, setting it on fire with their moves.
If the third piece in which a mesh of entwined human bodies moved with the raw passion of an animal gave me goosebumps of discomfort and fear, the last piece with its undertones of spring, smooth graceful moves and celebration of dance blew my mind away. What seemed like effortless, almost accidental and natural movements across the stage must have taken hours of rehearsal to perfect, so I was not amazed to hear that the dancers rehearsed 10 hours a day. I was however, truly amazed to find out that it was the first major public performance for one of the dancers. As amazed and awed as I was by the sinewy power in the dancers’ elegant (and drool worthy) bodies!
Urban Ballet for me was an amazing experience and it shall stay with me for a very long time, much like the elegance of Isabelle Anna’s Kathak.