As a part of the Women’s March 2012 being organised in the city, dancer-choreographer Céline will be giving a dance-lecture demonstration that will trace the birth of ‘Bharatemporary’. “My quest has now become to find a unity between contemporary dance and Bharatanatyam,” says Céline.
Born to a French mother and a Sri Lankan Tamilian father based in Malaysia, the 34-year old French national is a graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP). Having begun her schooling at the tender age of 10, Céline has learnt classical ballet and contemporary dance. When she was 20, she decided to discover her ‘other’ roots and thus started her tryst with Bharatanatyam.
“My mother, who’s French, used to keep telling me to learn Bharatanatyam. I was never interested and did not pay heed. Funnily, when she stopped telling me, that’s when I got interested. I took up the dance under guru Nirupama Nityananda who is a product of Kalakshetra.”
Céline is now a professional contemporary dancer with a company of her own. Called Relevée, she explains that it is dance position where the dancer stands on the base of their toes. “In French, we also use the word Relevée to describe food that is hot ... cooked with many spices. I love food and dance and so the word was a natural choice.” She goes on, explaining, “Relevée was started 10 years ago. It’s been a tough journey as there aren’t as many moyens... means. But we’ve come a long way.” Ask her if she is where she wants to be, and she replies, “We’re close.”
Despite struggling a little with the English language, Céline’s passion for dance is more than an eloquent translator. Talking about her conference that is scheduled for later today, she explains that the demonstration is a meeting of worlds, a confluence of cultures that attempts to define each other by its very differences. “Contemporary dance is different in different countries. America has its own style, Europe its own and France its own. Coming from two very distinct roots, I wonder if maybe India can also have its own. So for the first time, I am combining Bharatanatyam with my usual contemporary style.”
The dance-talk is scheduled to take place at 7 pm at the Bhaskara auditorium, Birla Science centre.