The art of dance

Having trained under leading Kathak exponents including Kumudini Lakhia and Pandit Birju Maharaj, Aditi Mangaldas’s interpretation of Kathak to develop a unique contemporary dance vocabulary has helped her carve a niche in the field of dance. Her productions are known for their energy and dynamism and are highly looked forward to, always.

Aditi Mangaldas

This Sunday will witness the world premiere of her latest contemporary dance production titled Now Is — a production, in honour of renowned German Artist Siegward Sprotte’s 100th birthday.

Mangaldas’s association with the artist goes back to 1982, when he first witnessed her performance at Paris’ Théâtre National de l’Odéon. He was inspired by her dance and dedicated a series of paintings in the 1980s to her, titled, ‘For Aditi’ and ‘Aditi dancing’. “Now Is is based on the concept of living in the now without the past or the future,” explains Mangaldas about this recent production. “Sprotte’s works were also about the now. It was about doing rather than the done. It was about the immediacy of the present.

Painting by German artist Siegward Sprotte from the series dedicated to Aditi Mangaldas

That is why we made an attempt for this production to coincide with his 100th birthday,” adds the dancer. Now Is was born out of a previous production by Mangaldas titled Timeless. “Living in the now formed a small portion in that production but I realised it was very energising and inspirational. So, I decided to do a full length production on the concept of now,” says Mangaldas. She has been working on the production for over a year and a half and describes it as a meditative piece: “The music has been provided by Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan. Hindustani Classical music is about spontaneity and mostly about improvisation; it is about the now.”

She feels this production is complex because of the coming together of so many elements. “The piece is a simultaneous dialogue. Technically, it was a bit challenging but overall, it is more of a contemplative and meditative piece. In this production, the dynamism comes from within, like a gushing river,” adds the dancer. Throughout the production, paintings of Sprotte will be projected on stage giving the audience a glimpse into his genius. “Following the premiere, an exhibition of many of his works in watercolours and oils will be exhibited at the Tao Art Gallery, from November 23,” she adds.

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