Be in Bangalore for daylong dance fiesta (April 29 is World Dance Day)

Bangalore, April 26: From bharatanatyam, kathak, kuchipudi and manipuri to modern dances, 150 artists will take turns for a daylong fiesta here Sunday to celebrate World Dance Day.

The 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. festivities – touted as ‘the biggest ever daylong dance gathering in Bangalore of dancers, dance teachers, connoisseurs, aspirants and art lovers’ – are being organised by the Bangalore School of Music, Alliance Francaise and dance historian Ashish Mohan Khokar.

Many events had been held in Bangalore to celebrate World Dance Day but not on a scale where over 150 dancers were performing on stage in a single day, Khokar, the son of legendary dance scholar Mohan Khokar, told IANS.

He said the highlight of the event would be the first-ever exhibition of the Mohan Khokar Dance Collection, showcasing the history of Indian dance from 1901 to 2000.

The collection is considered one of the most comprehensive compilations on the history and heritage of Indian classical, contemporary, ritual and folk dance.

It comprises books, photographs, paper-cuttings, posters, brochures, handbills, banners, drawings, paintings, etchings, costumes, masks, gramophone records, videotapes and other items.

There will also be a seminar on ‘Dance Matters’, which dance guru Maya Rao will inaugurate.

The artists will present classical dances such as mohiniyattam, odissi, kathakali and contemporary dances, each performance lasting between 10 and 15 minutes.

‘We see established dancers perform throughout the year and the same names dominate most festivals. We thought we must give a platform to new and young people who rarely get the chance to dance with seniors and show their art to connoisseurs,’ said Khokar.

‘It is a good platform for all to connect and see trends, perspectives and new talents,’ he said.

World Dance Day was first celebrated in France in the 1980s to mark the birthday of 17th century French ballet dancer Jean-Georges Noverre, he said. ‘But in India, the celebrations only began in the last decade.’

The International Dance Committee started the International Dance Day April 29 in 1982 as a tribute to Noverre, who was born in 1727.

IANS