Mumbai to witness international dance forms at new festival

Feb 06, 2018, 10:36 IST | Snigdha Hasan

A new festival introduces Mumbai to international dance forms through a showcase of their history, and performances

Aerial route

In a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai, it's not hard to come by performing arts from across the world. And if the audience takes a liking to a dance form, its journey from the stage to a workshop is a swift one, too. But what tends to get sidelined in the process is the story of its evolution, or place in the larger cultural context. With the aim to showcase dance forms from across the world, and give the audience a glimpse into their history, the National Centre of Performing Arts has initiated a new dance festival called Spectrum. "The primary focus of our dance programming has been Indian classical dance. With the NCPA completing 50 years next year, we felt it's a good time to include more international forms in our programming. The idea, as the festival's name suggests, is to cover a spectrum of dance styles," shares Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, Odissi dancer and head, programming – dance.

We pick the must-watch acts at the festival:

On : February 10 and 11, 7 pm
At: Experimental Theatre, NCPA.
Call: 22824567
Entry: Rs.300 onwards

Aerial route
For trained gymnast, rope mallakhamb professional and four-time national champion Aditi Deshpande, taking to aerial silk came naturally. At the festival, students (both children and adults) from Deshpande's Fly High Aerial Arts have something interesting planned. "We will start with a presentation to familiarise the audience with aerial silk and its benefits including developing upper body strength, flexibility, stamina and balance. The idea is to break the myth that aerial silk is for performers only," says Deshpande, who trained in the art form in the US. Next in the line-up is a romantic duet performance by a couple, all up in the air.

The festival line-up also includes
Pound Urban hip-hop and jazz by Ashley Lobo's The Danceworx
Pound Latin ballroom dance by Sandip Soparrkar & Troupe

Propped up

Propped up
A lot can happen around a chair when used as a dance prop. This Chair Soirée by actor and founder of PoleStar India, Smilie Suri, and her troupe will engage with the theme of Empowered Women Empower Women. Through chair dancing using complex chair tricks and moves, the performance will talk also about depression.

The journey of flamenco

The journey of flamenco
Did you know that the vibrant dance from Spain has an India connect? "The gypsies that evolved flamenco in Spain started their journey several centuries ago in Rajasthan," says Shehzeen Cassum (in pic), founder-director of the Shehzeen Cassum Flamenco Academy, who has also started the Namaste Flamenco initiative that aims to create awareness of the dance form in India. Cassum, who has trained for 12 years in Spain, informs that the performances, ranging from traditional to contemporary, will be peppered with interactive demonstrations and storytelling.

Swirling moves

Swirling moves
The history of ballet training in Mumbai is incomplete without a mention of The School of Classical Ballet and Western Dance. Founded by Tushna Dallas in 1966, classes are held under the direction of Dallas and her daughter Khushcheher. The repertoire for the evening includes a classical waltz followed by a colourful and vibrant Russian folk dance. The presentation will end with variations from well-known ballets Giselle and La Bayadere.

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