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Inter_rupted: The dance performance ‘speaks the language of the body’. Photo: Nirvair Singh
Inter_rupted: The dance performance ‘speaks the language of the body’. Photo: Nirvair Singh

Pick of the week: Giving Kathak a new idiom

Aditi Mangaldas's 'Inter_rupted', will premiere at the sixth edition of the August Dance Residency organized by the NCPA in Mumbai

Change is the only constant thing in this world. Whether it is the world around us, or our body, it is not what it was a second ago. Then why can’t we let go of things, of feelings, of emotions?" Aditi Mangaldas, a Kathak exponent and founder of the Drishtikon Dance Foundation, explores this conundrum in her latest production, Inter_rupted, which will premiere at the sixth edition of the August Dance Residency organized by the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai.

The programme will start on 2 August with a talk by Farooq Chaudhry, co-founder of the Akram Khan Dance Company in London, on the evolution of Kathak as an international dance form. Inter_rupted will be staged on 6 August.

“This event is not a residency in the truest sense. But we wanted to showcase how Kathak has evolved over the years, with the help of artistes like Aditi Mangaldas and Farooq Chaudhry," says Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, NCPA’s head of programming (dance).

Inter_rupted, which will feature six dancers besides Mangaldas herself, combines Kathak and various contemporary styles. “It’s not exclusively Kathak, it’s abstract," says Mangaldas, who is known for crossing the boundaries of the traditional dance form to create her own blend of percussive footwork and dizzying spins. “The idea behind this production is to speak the language of the body, its fragility, disintegration and constant renewal," says Mangaldas.

The show will travel to Germany and Britain in October.

On 7 August, Mangaldas will hold a masterclass for people with a background in Kathak (fee, 1,000). “Besides talking about the aesthetics of Kathak, Aditi will also showcase how she blends the traditional with the contemporary," says Dasgupta, adding: “The definition
of dance in the West is very different from what it is here. Combining Kathak with contemporary helps in increasing its reach."

Chaudhry concurs: “In the past 20 years, Kathak has taken the international dance community by storm. Artistes such as Akram Khan, Aakash Odedra, Aditi Mangaldas, Sanjukta Sinha and many more have taken it beyond its historical cultural parameters and made it universal. They have made it our story and not just their story."

The sixth edition of the August Dance Residency will be held from 2-7 August at the NCPA. Timings vary. Click here for details.

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