Ballet goes the Indian way

At the ballet, you really feel like you’re in the presence of something outside the rest of your life. Higher than the rest of your life, quoted Robert Caro.

With the Summer Ballet Festival 2012, which started on Friday, it’s yet again time to experience the essence of dance combined with drama. The festival, presented by Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, will feature Indian contemporary dances, Rajasthani dance and even acts inspired by Indian mythological characters.

A ballet offers ample scope for narrating interesting tales on stage. ‘This is a dance drama festival. We do it every year in the summers because it is a lean season. At all our ballet performances, we think that there is a need to give a contemporary feel to Indian mythology, in order to keep in sync with the modern days,’ says Shobha Deepak Singh, Director, Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra.

This year’s edition will showcase four major ballets —  Karna, Meera, Parikrama (Revisited) and Kumar Sambhava. ‘For Karna, we have used the Mayurbhnaj Chhau style of dance, which is a form of tribal martial arts. For Meera, we have used the Rajasthani folk form with music and visual effects. Indian contemporary form of dance has been used in Parikrama,’ says Shashidharan Nair, choreographer.

Dancer Radhica Laukaran, who played the role of Meera in the same production in 1995, will essay the role this year as well. ‘It is a very female-dominated production. Meera [based on Meerabai] had retaliated against the typical Indian character of a woman. To perform this centuries old story on a modern stage was very thought-provoking,’ says Laukaran.

Singer Shubha Mudgal has given the music for some of the performances.
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