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In step on World Dance Day

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-04-2017 Sohini Sen

Modern American dancer Martha Graham once famously described dance “as the hidden language of the soul of the body”. The world over, this language is celebrated as World Dance Day on 29 April. We list some of the events that are scheduled. 


The Karnataka Nrityakala Parishath will be presenting a programme, called World Dance Day, on 28 April. The performers include Odissi exponent Sharmila Mukherjee, who will be accompanied by Bharatanatyam dancers Supriya Hariprasad, Padmini Shreedhar, Poorna Suresh and Malini Ravi Shankar, and Kathak artiste Kavyashree Nagaraj.  “My dance choreographies have always been focused on nature. This time too, I wanted to do something on the various seasons and zeroed in on summer, or Grisma Geetam. Using Kalidasa’s poetry, we will be showcasing how all living beings react to summer,” Mukheree explains. 

She believes dance cannot, and should not, be stagnant. “If you have aesthetics and you want to express your dance through modern interpretations, collaborations, etc., then do it,” she says

World Dance Day will be on 28 April, 4pm, at Seva Sadan Auditorium, Malleswaram. Seating on first-come, first-served basis.

Danceworx will perform the contemporary style.


“We often classify dance as Indian classical, Western ballet, contemporary, etc., but they all seamlessly fit together. That is also the theme of our show,” says Ashley Lobo, choreographer and founder of The Danceworx Academy and Navdhara India Dance Theatre.

Lobo will be performing in No Boundaries, hosted by the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), and conceptualized by Delhi-based contemporary dancer Santosh Nair. The line-up, besides Nair, includes the dance troupe of Odissi exponent Jhelum Paranjape and Bharatanatyam dancer Vaibhav Arekar’s school Sankhya Dance Creations and Chau dancer Subhasree Mukherjee.

“I will be performing jazz, hip hop and commercial contemporary (with Danceworx). There are 10 groups performing for this show, and we will all come together and show how the same music can be interpreted by each dance form,” adds Lobo.

No Boundaries will be on 29 April, 7.30pm, at Tata Theatre, NCPA. Tickets, Rs300, Rs500, Rs700 and Rs1,000, available on


Collaborations cannot be limited to different dance styles. Delhi-based Kathak dancer Vidha Lal hopes to convey this through her performance at Sarangi Legacy 2017, a music and dance concert to be held on the eve of World Dance Day in memory of sarangi ustad Sabri Khan. 

“Sarangi has been one of the key accompanying instruments for Kathak. So it made sense to highlight their relationship,” says Lal, who will be performing in the Jaipur gharana style, choreographed by Kathak exponent Geetanjali Lal (who’s also Vidha Lal’s mother-in-law).

The 40-minute recital, divided into four parts, will start with an invocation to the goddess of knowledge through Saraswati Vandana. The next two pieces will be technical ones in Basant Taal and Teen Taal (defined by the time-cycle of nine beats and 16 beats, respectively). The final piece will be a Sufi bandish, Mohe Apne Hi Rang Le Rangeele, written by Nizamuddin Auliya. The concert will also include sarangi recitals. 

Sarangi Legacy 2017 will be on 28 April, 6.30pm, at Triveni Kala Sangam Auditorium, Mandi House. Seating on first-come, first-served basis.

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