An ode to dance jugalbandi
On International Dance Day, Indian Classical and Western dancers share their dream collaborations, albeit with contrasting dance styles, on stage
I am a great admirer of Pina Bausch (German performer) and her language of dance theatre. To have collaborated with her would have been wonderfully enriching and unique experience
I would choose to collaborate with a Bharatanatyam dancer for a Fusion performance. Many people have asked me to do something like this as both styles would gel well. I was born and raised in America, and I believe that Bollywood hasn’t been represented in the best way possible on dance shows, internationally. I wish to represent India and bring Bollywood to Hollywood. I would love to work with Saroj Khan. Bollywood is a fusion of dance styles and can have elements of Hip Hop, Salsa, Jazz and others. But what makes the idea of a Fusion so exciting is to think out of the box and fuse two styles which no one would ever dream of.
I would love to work with Akram Khan. He is an innovative thinker. He is bold and powerful, which reflects in my dancing style too. His performances and choreographies have a definite edge; he blends the modern with the traditional. His presentations are creative yet aesthetic. We will be two creative minds with different perspectives. If we are able to work, it will be unknown territory, but I am certain it will culminate into something spectacular.
Salsa and Ballroom dancer
I have shared the stage with Odissi exponent Dr Sonal Mansingh, Bharatanatyam exponent Mallika Sarabhai, Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj and Kuchipudi exponent Yamini Reddy. Creating concepts with them has made me evolve as a dancer too. Now, I would love to explore the same with Kathakali. Blending two forms brings freshness to both. For today’s generation, it’s a great way to see and get educated about various dance forms.
A few Western dance styles like Classical Ballet, Flamenco and Tap dance can be a good combination with Kathak. If given a chance, I would like to collaborate with Bruno Bouché from Paris Opera in Classical Ballet, Farruquito and Sara Baras from Spain in Flamenco, and Jason Samuels Smith from USA in Tap as they have an idea of Indian Classical dances and music, and we may create unique and amazing act for a global audience.
Odissi is the classical style I would choose and I would like to work with Sanjukta Mohapatra. I don’t like the word ‘Fusion’, for when I work with any traditional form of dance and music, one blends into the Classical form, and creates another movement.