Traditional meets contemporary

Published: 04th June 2013 11:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2013 11:37 AM   |  A+A-


While Indian classical art forms rule the roost in Bangalore, the Alliance Française-Ashish Khokar Dance DisCourse Series opened new doors in contemporary dance culture. The evening began with a short film on history of choreography in India with snippets from various works down the ages (1930s-2010).

Contemporary Explorations by Nritarutya and the performance by Tushar and Pooja Bhatt explored the beauty of dance at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore on Saturday. This episode showcased bright examples of what’s happening in Bangalore today. Mayuri and Madhuri Upadhya presented new works from forms known to them (yoga, chhau, kathak, taichi, bollywood) while Tushar and Pooja Bhatt used Kathak for contemporary explorations. The evening ended with discussions with the dancer-choreographers. Dance connoisseurs were greeted to several unique pieces that brought out the purity of modern dance forms. The following sequences were performed by Nritarutya:


Innovating with the most popular hasta of Indian classical dance - the Anjali hasta or Namaskar, this dance is a celebration in movement. Taking inspiration from the

technique of Bharatanatyam, the choreographic structure and pattern is in contemporary dance design set to Arabic music. The sequence enhances invocation and rejoices the ‘nritta’ aspect of dance.


This dance sequence interprets mythology in a modern context journeying with the God of Love - Manm-atha, a young and handsome man whose arrows are capable of pairing lovers, kindling their desire and rotating the life-wheel.

In a contemporary context the dance explores how we are bound together by love - a thread connecting all our souls.

The choreographer has played with myriad shades of romance involving the technique of Kathak and contemporary dance.

Rhythmic footwork and a variety of twirls mark the signature style of this dance sequence.


The piece attempts to depict the current appearance of society, a question of whether existence is by choice or by chance. The choreography uses the effective ‘geometry’ of Bharatanatyam to make the dancers both figure and disfigure movements. Utilising quick, quirky movements, the body is at times active in segments, delivering an indecisive staccato energy.

Pooja and Tushar also performed Reflection under New Works. Being Kathak dancers, they showcased the eccentricity of reflections in Kathak style.

Reflection to them meant reliving their learning experience with great gurus and reflecting on an art form then to here and now.  The entire presentation took place in two eras -- traditional and modern.


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