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The Natya Ballet Dance Festival 2018
to Dec 2

The Natya Ballet Dance Festival 2018

The Natya Ballet Dance Festival 2018
Festival Director & Curator: Nikita Maheshwary

Curatorial Note

Festivals are an important part of urban culture and play a central role in reflecting and adding to the social landscape of cities.

With the second edition of The Natya Ballet Dance Festival, we are back with three days of performances, a masterclass, dance film screenings, talks and discussions.

This year’s programme has been inspired by brilliant artists who are continually producing bold and assertive works that re-look and reinterpret conventional storytelling in today’s social and political context.

The evening performances this year are beyond pure dance. We are delighted to present The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust’s ‘Mahabharata’ & JustUs Repertory’s ‘Aham Sita’ which effortlessly blends plural mediums and vocabularies while challenging us to revisit the age-old epics in a different light.

We are equally pleased to present two unique performances from the Netherlands. While Vloeistof Dance Company’s ‘We are Waiting at the Border’ is a confrontational performance that makes one question the idea of boundaries; Korzo Theatre’s production 'Ayush' dissolves these boundaries further to bring together on stage the magical union of western dramaturgy and eastern philosophy.

Following the viral discussion around dance and choreography, our Conference ‘Dance Discourses’ this year, is taking a deeper look at the relationship between dance and theatre and dance and film.

The first afternoon of the conference takes us through the performance practices and works of multifaceted artists such as Maya Krishna Rao, Jyotsna Shourie, Gowri Ramnarayan and the late Veenapani Chawla & current performances of Adishakti Theatre. All of these artists have effortlessly imbibed the ageold principles

of natya; amalgamating all three - dance, music & theatre, seamlessly in their oeuvre.21, Bhai Veer Singh Marg, New Delhi -110001 | 011 -23742568 |

To experience and discuss four critically acclaimed and award-winning films, the second afternoon of 'Dance Discourses' is dedicated to reflect on how art can push boundaries to mobilize social change. While the film 'Bahuda' conveys the message of plurality; 'Shringaram', 'O, Friend, This Waiting!' and 'The Other Song' reflects on the marginalised identity of the devdasis (women temple dancers) and the tawaifperformers (courtesans) and talks at length about their unacknowledged contribution to Indian dance, theatre and cinema.

We are extremely proud to present the ‘Meet the Legends’ Series. The series are conversations with the icons of Indian dance such as Pandit Birju Maharaj, Astad Deboo, Mallika Sarabhai and Leela Samson. All four of these eminent personalities have a lifetime of work to speak for them. They are path breakers, masters of their craft and activists with a wealth of stories to share about their individual journeys. We thought it would be interesting for the dance fraternity and the public at large to hear them talk about their extraordinary lives.

This year, preceding the three days of the festival, we expanded our audience- engagement programme further with the hope of encountering many more ways of redefining and re-finding dance. During the month of November, we went to universities and institutions to engage with a young and discerning student audience with our {Exchange X Explore} programmes.

We look forward to experiencing this festival together with you!

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'Beyond Dance' at India Dans Festival 2018, The Hague
to Nov 3

'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.

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Natya Ballet Dance Festival 2016
to Dec 3

Natya Ballet Dance Festival 2016

The Natya Ballet Dance Festival, 2016, was crafted towards exploring and experiencing the varied dance vocabulary of the Indian Subcontinent and to ignite a dialogue on the survival and relevance of traditional and unique dance forms in the present day.

Whilst the festival showcased established artists like Aditi Mangaldas, Astad Deboo and Lubna Marium, it also presented little known dance forms like Gotipua, Tibetan Opera, Seraikella Chhau and Ottanthulal. The festival had a power-packed 2-day conference with several discussions, lecture demonstrations, film screenings and talks by prominent artists like Anita Ratnam, Sadanand Menon, Gowri Ramnarayan, Ashish Khokar, Mandeep Raikhy, and Helen Acharya & Shashadhar Acharya.

“With this festival we are hoping to initiate a step towards better understanding of our traditional dance practices; furthermore reflecting on the evolution of dance over the past century. Conceptualized with the vision to build a wider audience for classical and traditional dances of the subcontinent, dance enthusiasts and lovers have much to experience.”

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