Dutch Dances at Natya Ballet Dance Festivalby Opinion Express December 4, 2018 0 comments
The dance presentations by the Dutch at the Natya Ballet Dance Festival is a call to look beyond oneself and emerge from self-confinement.
What happens at the border? What kind of boundaries do soldiers have to push and cross? How fictitious are the stories from these borders?
Answering all such questions about the plight of soldiers staying at borders and serving the country, the Dutch dance company, Vloeistof, brought an intimate public space performance, We are waiting at the border, conceptualised by Dutch choreographer Yuri Bongers and Swiss choreographer Anja Reinhardt.
The public arena of the Meghdoot Theatre at the Sangeet Natak Akademi was occupied by performers Rex Clemensia, Ulrike Doszmann, Keanu Sinnaeve and Anja Reinhardt. As the four of them held a large sheet of glass that covered their faces and bodies, they gradually moved towards the front with it after a set interval of a few seconds. When the squad reached the end of the boundary, the stage in this case, they seemed to be trapped behind the sheet, slightly crawling out for a gasp of breath. Moving towards the end while holding the sheet implied pushing of the zones that were being created around them and breaking through.
The artists talked about how their dance images are inspired by the everyday life and an understanding of the human space. “Neither a dance idiom itself is the starting point, nor the aesthetic form. We use dance to actively involve the spectators and encourage them to reflect on the reality in which they find themselves on a daily basis. It is inspired by the beauty of the everyday lives reflecting on human behaviour in an urban and modern setting, bringing out funny, absurd and poetic elements,” said one of the performers. The next sequence commenced when the three of them trap the fourth person between four different opaque glass sheets, where the captive’s movements depicted the emotions of a trapped and helpless person.
Why not in an enclosed space though? What is the purpose behind showcasing a performance between a group of audience? They believed that the question of “how we relate to the space and especially how we perceive it — is fundamental. This is to challenge the audience’s perception of space by using body as a medium.” As the audience stood circling the four dancers, they stepped amid the crowd to perform certain actions and dance movements. Vloeistof’s idea was to develop a form in which the spectators become directly involved and their collective experiences contribute to the overall content of the performance. The audience’s reactions and interactions are a part of the experience.
The following performance of The Dutch Double Bill brought together three Kathak dancers from Bengaluru, Hari, Chethna and Sirisha Irudayaraj for a set piece called Ayush. Conceptualised and choreographed by the artistic director of the Korzo Theatre in The Hague, Netherlands, Leo Sprecksel, the act was an amalgamation of Western dramaturgy and Kathak vocabulary, brilliantly combining the two elements in one performance.
The dancers began with tapping on their respective podiums at the stage. The taps synchronised with the beats of the music. With intense expressions, the performance profoundly made one dive and ponder about how one thing leads to the other. While talking about what Ayush signified, the trio revealed that the experimental dance work was inspired by the philosophy of Ayurveda, based on the three doshas of the body — pitta, vata and kapha, and “their constant balance and imbalance, strengths and weaknesses — exposed, resonated and aligned.”
The initial performance’s theme contrasted with the theme of Ayush as it also talked about shattering the glasses and zones that a human creates for self. It broke through the self-inflicted governance that we create over our mental and physical processes giving away evidence that life need not be confined. “More than any determined boundaries, we need to be free of our own limits,” said one of the three dancers.
Writer: Chahak Mittal
Courtesy: The Pioneer