BENGALURU: It’s not every day that you come across Indian dance being made an integral part of Western theatre. But Tascabile di Bergamo (TTB), a theatre group that originated under Renzo Vescovi in Italy in 1973, has been featuring art forms from the country for decades. “If somebody doesn’t like Indian dance forms, they better not join our group,” says Tiziana Barbiero, a founding member of TTB, who was in town for Linking West via East, an illustrative talk held on Thursday.
TTB was introduced to Kathakali and Odissi by late Mohan Khokar, a dance critic, in 1978. Barbiero alongside art historian Ashish Khokar recalled how the idea was not well received in the beginning. Now, Indian dance is such a crucial part of TTB that it is performed without a Western touch. Emphasising that this is done to maintain the purity of the art form, Barbiero said, “Our duty is to learn from the basics. We were fond of starting from India and here we found great masters to teach us.
We never had the idea of changing anything.” Everything, from the costumes to the movement, is executed without western elements, added Barbiero. Speaking about future projects, Barbiero said it will focus on colours. “We are yet to formulate the performance, but we do have the title –The Light of The Black,” she added.