View from the Wings - a dancer's blog

Posted by Avatâra Ayuso at 23:08 on Tuesday 9 November 2010

All day travelling to Delhi by plane in the afternoon and finally arrived at night. This city has 14 million of people in its streets. The traffic here is unbelievable. Nothing compared to European urban life.

Posted by Avatâra Ayuso at 23:20 on Wednesday 10 November 2010

Performance in Delhi
The audience has reacted very enthusiastically to our show.

Party in the British Council at Delhi

imageOur soprano Patricia Rosario with Shobana

Sanjivan Kohli from SJDC

After the show a reception was given and we had the chance to meet some of the audience members. All of them seemed to enjoy it and they were keen to know more about the creative process: how does Shobana creates the movement?, how are you able to remember such a big range of steps?, how many hours do you rehearse?, how long did she take to create each of the pieces? They were amazed by the complexity of movement and the high physicality of the dancers. Some of them were particularly struck by the professionalism and rigour in contemporary dance (something new to India?) and they are keen to see more.

Posted by Avatâra Ayuso on Thursday 11 November 2010

Another workshop with new participants.
After having taught two workshops, there is one thing that from my perspective could be highlighted when it comes to creating and teaching movement: Indians seem to have a great feel for detail. In Europe we tend, in general, to move more in a holistic way and thanks to that we have developed very good floor work and contact techniques; but here it seems their artistic heritage (not just thanks to Baratanatyan dance but also to art in general) has trained the dancers to apply detail into their movement (a little twist in their elbow, head, hand, shoulder, a look...). I think they are much more conscious of how to achieve isolation, at least when creating movement. In fact, this is one of the aspects that from my point of view Shobana has added to our contemporary dance: the taste for detail and fragmented movement blended with the physicality and dynamism that holistic movement provides.

imageJose Agudo warms up the workshop partcipants

“Meeting the artist”
Gati Festival (a festival of Indian contemporary dance organized for the first time in Dehli) has organized a “Meet the artist” session where audience, art critics, dancers and other choreographers have had the chance to talk to Shobana about her choreographic style.

imageJyoti Argade from SJDC, Shobana and Vikram Iyengar from the Gati festival

I think the question that made me realize how different the dance perspective can be in contemporary dance between Europe and India, is when a journalist asked Shobana if the piece had been changed in order to accommodate it to Indian audiences. Shobana's response was a "no". choreography is carefully thought out and all their elements are coherently related to each other. Movements might be adapted to the dancers but not to the audiences. Surely it would be untruthful to the concept of the works if every time we go to a different country/culture the choreography is changed.

And finally a day off.