Chikni Chameli has left the building
Catch twelve dance performances by renowned choreographers from India, the US and the UK at Ahsas, a two-day celebration of dance to let audiences know that there is more to the art form than just Bollywood jhatkas and matkas
Ahsas is the international Dance Arts festival organised by the Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts, formerly known as Expressions Modern Dance Company. At the fourth edition of the festival, audiences can expect to see a 12-minute in-house production on the country’s legendary freedom fighter and advocate of non-violent civil disobedience movement, titled Gandhi is Alive.
In the piece titled Dadar Station, choreographer Steve Rooks explores the emotions stirred up at a crowded railway station, while Resonate is a meditation on the Eightfold path of Buddhism and Sufi Parwane is a tribute to Sufi poets. This year’s line-up will also include performances choreographed by Steve Rooks (USA), Akram Khan (UK), as well as performances by dancers David Poznanter (USA), Aakash Odedra (UK). The Bhumika Creative Dance Centre in Delhi will perform Fragments, vignettes from the everyday lives of dancers, as well as a tribute to singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan titled, simply, Nusrat Song.
Free for all
“The festival is a celebration of dance,” says co-founder Sasha Goradia, adding, “We have kept the event free so that everyone can have access to it.” Sasha speaks of the line-up with pride. “Some of the dancers and choreographers will be performing in the city for the first time,” he says, adding, “When we started out, we had four or five performers. Now, we have 12, which is heartening.”
In the beginning
The debut of the festival, in 2009, marked the first anniversary of the Expressions Modern Dance Company. The event met with moderate success, with organisers managing to rope in dancer Stephen Rooks from the acclaimed Martha Graham Dance Company in America. “There is more to dance than just Bollywood-inspired moves,” says Sumeet, adding, “The festival is about creating awareness about the modern elements of Indian dance.” Ahsas is as much for the audience as it is for dancers, believes dancer Aakash Odedra, who says, “It’s interesting to have the openness to experiment with new forms and venture into new territories. I’m exited to see the progression of new art forms in a multicultural society like ours.”
Top 4 must-catch events
Saki Naka is a theatrical dance piece based on Nagdev’s interactions with a homeless person over the span of a year. It will be performed by actress Gautami Kapoor and Sumeet Nagdev.
You Have Two Choices
Choreographed and performed by David Poznanter, You Have Two Choices is based on thoughts, sounds and movements. Poznanter is a professional dancer, singer, actor, and circus artist. He has performed with an acrobatic troupe in China and taught dance and capoeira in Brazil.
In The Shadow of Man
Performed by Aakash Odedra and choreographed by Akram Khan, the solo dance performance explores the question of whether we are becoming more human, or more animal-like, over time.
David DeSouza photography exhibition
Photographer David DeSouza enjoys clicking images that capture motion. He will take viewers on a dance journey across Mumbai capturing the candid moments of dancers through 15 images.
On: Saturday and Sunday; 7 pm onwards
At: St Andrews Auditorium, Bandra (W).
Seating is on a first-come-first-serve basis.