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When the ‘ugly' is in step with dance act

Kalyani Nedungadi



Change of course:Movements in the show had to be more gritty to convey the pathos of the emotions.

Bangalore: “Even when a dancer falls, they fall beautifully.” So, it was ironic that two young artistes from the Attakalari Centre for Movement Arts had to make their movements less graceful for a performance in the city recently. Contemporary dancers and choreographers Diya Naidu and Denny Paul performed their self-choreographed pieces ‘Nadir' and ‘Uyire' at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore.

Presented the Robert Bosch Art Grant in 2010, these two immensely gifted artistes are trained in several different styles of dance and have performed across India as well as in Europe.

In ‘Nadir', her first solo choreography, Ms. Naidu sought to convey the back and forth journey between the terrible anguish of solitude and the liberty it engenders — the “madness of isolation”.

Range of emotions

Channelling equally profound emotions, Mr. Paul used his piece ‘Uyire' to depict five turning pointsin his life, in an exploration of the past, present and future.

In addition, he also used breathing techniques derived from Tai Chi to add a unique flavour to his performance.

Explaining how they had to make their movements more gritty for the show, Ms. Naidu says that in order to convey the true pathos of the emotions they were portraying in abstract form, they needed to “make it ugly, make it real”.

About the differences between Indian and Western audiences, Mr. Paul insists the level of interest and enthusiasm for contemporary dance is the same.

However, the audiences “appeared to connect to the performance in a different way” — while Indian audiences tend to seek narratives in the dance performances, Western audiences appear to allow themselves to be “carried away” by the performance, he says.

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