One of the oldest dance institutions in Delhi, Natya Ballet Centre organised a press conference on 27 November 2018. Radhika Hoon, the current Chairperson of the Natya Ballet Centre announced that the Natya Ballet Centre in association with Sangeet Natak Akademi is hosting the second edition of the biennale ‘The Natya Ballet Dance Festival’ from 30th November to 2nd December, 2018 (Friday to Sunday) at SNA premises.
The three-day long festival will feature thought-provoking and mesmerzing performances, talks, presentations and film screenings with the host of eminent and distinguished artists from India and abroad.
This year the festival aims to explore ‘Dance in Film’ & ‘Dance in Theatre’ and showcase works that transcend any one medium. The three day long festival is filled with rich and diverse programs that will showcase the best of both local and global art forms along with a tete-a-tete with living legends of Indian dance. One of the highlights of this year’s edition is that it will also emphasis on the female power in dance & theatre.
30 NOVEMBER 2018, FRIDAY- The first day of the festival will start in the morning at 11 am with a Masterclass by Ananya Chatterjea, a renowned choreographer from the USA and the Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre. It is an intensive of contemporary Indian dance technique, Yorchha, which brings together movement principles from Odissi, vinyasa yoga, and Mayurbhanj Chhau. It will also highlight on how to blend gender based narratives in the choreographic process.
Later in the evening at 7 pm, K at katha Puppet Arts Trust will present their performance ‘Mahabharata’. It is a contemporary retelling of the epic Mahabharata that employs the Japanese technique of Bunraku, masks and shadow theatre and elements of Chhau and Kalaripayattu. The performance will explore the inner dilemma of the fifteen prominent characters of the epic tale, through a stream of conscious narrative of their past and present motives.
1 DECEMBER 2018, SATURDAY - The second day will start with a new energy when Astad Deboo, whose name is synonymous with Contemporary Indian Dance, a style that he pioneered at a time when innovations in Indian dance were not welcomed, joins Dr. Arshiya Sethi, who is a scholar, commentator, administrator, consultant and an activist in the field of art and culture, for a candid conversation. This will be followed by a tete-a-tete between the legendary Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj and Manjari Sinha, an acclaimed musicologist and classical music & dance critic
The festival will continue with ‘Dance in Theatre’ segment, where Maya Krishna Rao, a renowned Indian theatre artist, stand-up comedian and social activist, will talk about her experience of how dance and theatre collides and flows into each other on the rehearsal floor. She also share her insights to identify the inspiration and the impact of Kathakali - a dance-theatre form in itself. This will be followed by a dialogue between Vinay Kumar, Artistic Director of Adishakti Theatre and Dr. Anita Cherian, theatre academician on the ouevre of Veenapani Chawla and the current work practice at Adishakti. The ‘Dance in Theatre’ segment will come to an end with a panel discussion with eminent Bharatnatyam dancer Jyotsna Shourie & Gowri Ramnarayan moderated by Saumya Baijal, a bilingual writer, poet, storyteller in English and Hindi. The evening will come to an end with two international performances The Dutch Double Bill. ‘We are waiting at the Border’ a confrontational and intimate public space performance, by the famous Dutch dance company Vloeist of and ‘Ayush’ a brilliant amalgamation of western dramaturgy and Kathak choreography by the famous Korzo Theatre from The Hague, The Netherlands.
2 DECEMBER 2018, SUNDAY- The third day of the festival will kick start with the second segment of ‘Meet The Legends’ with a conversation between Mallika Sarabhai, an eminent choreographer, dancer, film maker, actress, writer and social activist- who has been recognized and awarded across the world and Dr. Arshiya Sethi followed by Leela Samson, who is an expert performer and a sensitive interpreter of the nuances of Bharatanatyam whose session will be moderated by Prof.Naman P. Ahuja.
The afternoon of ‘Dance in Film’ session will have award-winning filmmakers such as Saba Dewan, Justin McCarthy, Sharada Ramanathan and Vikram Iyengar present their dance films. The closing performance of the festival, ‘Aham Sita’ is directed by Gowri Ramnarayan and performed by the renowned Bharatnatyam exponent Priyadarsini Govind. This act is a blend of dance, music and the spoken word and frames five crucial moments in the life of Sita along witht the less heard women of the Ramayana – Urmilla, Mandodari, Surpanakha and Ahalya.
CURATORIAL NOTE: "With the second edition of The Natya Ballet Dance Festival 2018, we wanted to go beyond just dance to showcase the various aspects of it inside and outside the proscenium space, and more importantly in the context of theatre and film. We are very excited to bring bold and assertive works from India and abroad that reinvestigates conventional storytelling in today's context for a discerning audience and delves in a deeper discourse on how art can push boundaries to mobilize social change."
Radhika Hoon, Chairperson, Natya Ballet Centre
Nikita Maheshwary, Creative Director, Natya Ballet Centre