Dancing free in ‘Gumboots’
By Akhila Damodaram | Express News Service | Published: 20th May 2017 04:50 AM |
BENGALURU: A troupe from South Africa, Tribhangi Dance Theatre, will perform a mix of South African and Indian folk styles with the aim of promoting nation building.
South Africa is a multicultural society, where mutual respect and admiration for other histories and culture have become the ethos of building a new nation, says Jayesperi Moopen, artistic director, Tribhangi Dance Theatre. He adds, “Tribhangi Dance Theatre is a performing arts and non-profit organisation, whose role is always to work within the framework of cultural diversity and intercultural understanding.”
He says that there are similarities between South African and Indian folk dances. “African dance has no set structure, and can be combined with folk movements that accommodate both these styles. Folk movements are more fluid.”
It took them about three weeks to prepare for their 70-minute performance. There will be six artistes from the troupe performing, including a musician. The troupe will also perform an Indian dance.
“I studied Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts. I graduated in 1984, and have used this as the basis of most of my work. However, the programme is a combination of South African dance genres, such as the gumboot dance, which has its roots in the gold mines of our country.” These gumboots may have bells that ring as the dancers step on stage.
Known for their energetic, vibrant and rhythmic performances, Jayespoori says the constant challenge they face is funding for their art. “It is a global problem,” he says.
The programme is organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). P Venugopal, Regional Director, ICCR, says, “The ICCR is a government body that organises international dance fests, where several groups are invited to perform in the country. Also, several groups from India visit other nations to perform. The Tribhangi Dance Theatre will perform in different cities, including Delhi, Chennai, Tiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru as part of the Africa Day Celebrations. They dedicate May 25 to the celebrations.”
Dr Sanjay Shantaram, director of Shivpriya Dance School, will head the invocation on the day of the performance. “I am an empanelled artist with ICCR. We recently represented India in Australia. We performed a traditional Bharatnatyam piece on Ganesha, as all the prayers and performances are offered first to him. So we will present the same piece here. Our performance, by nine members, will be followed by Tribhangi Dance Theatre. Their performance also includes some singing acts and traditional performances.”
Catch the show on May 27 at KEA Prabhath Rangamandira at 6.30 pm.