Pas de deux in Mumbai
Miguel Nosibor and Astad Deboo, two famous contemporary dancers and pioneers each in their own fields will meet for an unique Franco-Indian improvisation. On 3rd May 2012, these two artists will showcase their creation at Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai, which is hosting this event in partnership with Alliance Francaise de Bombay.
Astad Deboo has been the face of Indian contemporary dance scene for years. He brings out energy and impulse, creativity and elegance, while teaching and performing in various places in India and abroad.Impressions wonders how he manages.
You are going to have a special performance in May with French contemporary dancer Miguel Nosibor,can you share with us how you are goingto work?
Astad Deboo: Well, I know a bit of his work but our genres are totally different.His work seems interesting to me. We will meet when he comes and improvise on his arrival. We are both used to it.
What are your current projects?
A.D: I just started working on a showcaseon Tagore (Interpreting Tagore) and I have an ongoing project with the Drummers of Manipur, 30 of them, who are also dancers. This collaboration is taking me a lot of time and that is why I don’t have time to think about the work with Miguel Nosibor right now.
Have you worked with French choreographers before? Are you familiar with hip-hop?
A.D: Yes I did, in fact in the 90′s. I have not been to France in a very long time. I know the work of Prejlocaj and a few others. I am familiar with hip-hop but we do not use its pure form. In “Breaking Boundaries” my last show, some of the young dancers have used hip-hop elements. It is interesting for the viewer to see hip-hop in another light.
How do you feel Mumbai and India is looking at the contemporary dance scene today?
A.D: It has been a very long and tough journey. From 1978 to 2011, it has been a slow process to get people to understand. There has been a very small audience for contemporary dance. But I had to cultivate that audience. Word of mouth also helped a lot. Initial resentment amongst the spectators has been transformed into acceptance today.
Why is that? Isn’t India ready for contemporary dance?
A.D: Since many years India has only been about only about classical dance. There has also been a lack of institutions or mentor. However, when I was awarded by the Sangeet Natak Academy though, it brought out a change, and the field I was working in had suddenly been acknowledged.Today other dancers, even in classical dance want to experiment with contemporary dance. It was unthinkable years ago.
You also work with young dancers from unprivileged background. What is their future in contemporary dance?
A.D: One of them stated once that were he doing Bollywood, no one would have come to see him and talk to him backstage after a show, but with our troupe, he feels that he performs something where one needs to reflect. Some of these dancers are working with me in my production, others go to school and teach dance too in workshops. I always want to continue the work I do.