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ASTAD DEBOO AND THE DRUMMERs OF MANIPUR

ASTAD DEBOO AND THE DRUMMERs OF MANIPUR


                The Consulate General of India and the Indian Cultural Centre will be presenting a 11-member ICCR sponsored Contemporary Dance Group and Drummers of Manipur led by Astad Deboo on 11 January 2018 at 2000 hrs at the Clube Hebraica.   He will be presenting his signature presentation - River Runs Deep - which begins on a gentle note, reflective of ordinary life as it is lived in the North East, with a gradual build-up to the sense of insecurity and even fear against which many people in the region actually conduct their existence. The build up to the crescendo is gradual and powerful, with the drums coming into play the tempo now frantic, in stark counterpoint to a prolonged session of Like form and content, neither can be separated.

A Masterclass for contemporary dance artistes will also be held on 12 January at the Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade.

 

ASTAD DEBOO

 

Astad Deboo’s (1947--) name is synonymous with Contemporary Indian Dance. He pioneered an innovative style of Indian dance in the 1970s and 80s which most Indians saw then as “too western” while westerners judged it as “not Indian enough.” By the 1990s, audiences in India saw how forward thinking and progressive Deboo had and they quickly embraced and grew to love Astad’s new Indian dance idiom.

 

Deboo describes his style as “contemporary in vocabulary and traditional in restraints.” With a base in Kathak studied with Guru Prahlad Das from a young age (later studying Kathakali with Guru E.K. Pannicker) Astad traveled to the US, Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan observing and learning different dance vocabularies. “My style has evolved from energetic/entertaining to minimalist and introspective, from the narrative to the abstract.” His stunning signature style is characterized by intense focus, concentration and technical virtuosity along with a distinctively Indian aesthetic of evoking rasa (emotion). Today contemporary Indian Dance has Astad’s unique stamp on it. His significant legacy offers innovative models for younger Indian artists whom he exhorts with characteristic clarity: “to be contemporary Indian dancers, we must be Indian contemporary, not simply imitate the west.”

 

IN BRAZIL Astad Deboo has performed a number of times. His first performance was in 1976 at the International Festival of Teatro Sao Paulo; also danced in the Festival of Dance in Ouero Preto, Belo Horizonte, Salvador De bahia Petropolis, Receife, Curitiba. Eminent Brasilian Musicians Milton Nascimento, Chico Boache have graced his performance while he has performed with the Late Luis Gonzanginya Jr.

 

The Astad Deboo Dance Foundation

Founded in 2002, the foundation has mentored over 100 student and aims to provide creative training to able-bodied and disabled artists.

 

Work with the Deaf and Street Youth
Astad’s deep humanity led to his evocative work, “Breaking Boundaries”, with street children of the Salaam Baalak Trust, New Delhi.

Deboo is today highly acclaimed for his remarkable work with the Deaf for over 20 years. He has mentored The Action Players, a deaf theatre company from Kolkata and Clarke School for the Deaf in Chennai.

 

Deboo’s work at Gallaudet University’s Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington D.C. through the years has been as a choreographer, artist in residence and curator. Astad opened the 25th Deaf Olympics Cultural Festival with his Deaf Group.

 

Films/Theatre
Choreographed films for Indian directors like Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bharadwaj and legendry painter M.F Hussain.

Worked with theatre directors including Hyoung Taek Limb of Seoul Korea and Sunil Shanbag of India.

 

Deboo has been bestowed with numerous awards including the prestigious The Padma Shri, India’s highest arts award, recognizing Astad as a pioneer in Contemporary Indian Dance in 2007.

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