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'Beyond Dance' at India Dans Festival 2018, The Hague

Beyond Dance at India Dans Festival 2018
curated by Nikita Maheshwary

Dance and cinema allow us to see the world through the eyes of another, and feel, see and imagine a possibility of something beyond the ordinary. Stunning and thought-provoking works by brilliant Indian artists and filmmakers have inspired this year’s programme. The films showcased during the eight edition of the festival have been curated on two distinct themes: New Dance and The Uncelebrated.

New Dance
This segment showcases short dance films that traverse between the traditional and the contemporary. The films have captivating storylines, cinematography and creative choreography. While few investigate plural vocabularies that transcend cultural boundaries, some films explore the socio-political aspects of present day India.

The Uncelebrated
This segment explores the contribution and relevance of the artistic legacy of the courtesans, tawaifs, devadasis and maharis. The films highlight their pivotal yet uncelebrated role in laying the founding stone of today’s classical dance forms of Kathak and Bharatanatyam. The Indian National Award winning film O Friend, This Waiting! by Sandhya Kumar and Justin McCarthy traces the devadasi tradition in South India through the medium of dance and love-poetry. While The Other Song, a poignant film by Saba Dewan captures rather poetically the lost traditions and the culture of tawaif performers.