Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai are in for some of the most exemplary performances by French and Indian artistes in the contemporary dance styles, as part of DanSe Dialogues. The festival is an idea that was put forth by Aruna Adiceam, the cultural attaché with the French embassy, New Delhi, with the aim of bringing together two countries that share a passion for dance.
“At the Alliance Française, we have explored music and movies, but dance still remained untouched. In Chennai, dance is a pluri-millennial tradition, and through this effort, we hope to encourage more young enthusiasts to consider contemporary dance,” says Benoit Olivier, director, Alliance Française de Madras.
Strike a pose: Brahim Bouchelaghem’s Zahrbat.
Adds Ranvir Shah, founder of Prakriti Foundation: “India does have an appreciative audience who patronizes contemporary arts. They have become more receptive to new ventures.”
The event is being organized by the French embassy in association with the Alliance Française, Gati Dance Forum and the Delhi International Arts Festival in New Delhi, the Kalakshetra Foundation and Prakriti Foundation in Chennai, and the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts in Bangalore.
The performers include French dancers like Jérôme Bel, Brahim Bouchelaghem and Dominique Boivin. They will be joined by Aditi Mangaldas, Navtej Johar, Mandeep Raikhy, Anusha Lall, Padmini Chettur and Preethi Athreya in different centres.
For dancers like Bouchelaghem, this platform has also offered an opportunity for their first visit to India. Bouchelaghem follows a style of dance that is inspired by hip hop. “Classical Indian dance forms and hip hop differ in terms of technique and body language. I am very curious to meet with Indian dancers and understand their styles,” says Bouchelaghem.
Chettur, a classically trained dancer who has in the past tried to develop the contemporary dance idiom from within Indian forms, says: “I think the important thing is for the dancers to be engaged in a process of research that is honest and not merely about ‘making’ performances.”
DanSe Dialogues will also conduct master classes, video screenings of dance films and meetings with the French dancers and choreographers in each city.
The performances will take place in Delhi till 8 November, in Chennai from 5-12 November (there are no shows scheduled for 7 November and 9-10 November), and in Bangalore from 8-12 November. For details, check with the Alliance Française in your city.