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Which dance form is most useful as a foundation for Contemporary Indian dance?

May 17, 2012

The following is a compilation of the responses to the poll conducted by in May 2012.

Kalaripayattu has been a form that has helped tone my body for all forms. In terms of lines, strength and flexibility, be it Bharatanatyam or Western contemporary ... But one physical tradition that has helped movement artistes across the globe for all forms regardless of culture, race or nationalities has been YOGA...One might argue that Kalaripayattu and Yoga are not forms of dance but defining dance is a tricky issue - the way it is defined and popularly known is a very western perspective. I would prefer a movement form which is more universal and all encompassing.
- Veena Basavarajaiah (May 14, 2012)

I do feel that the Indian classical dance forms as performed by today's top artists are contemporary and relevant. In Quebec - Canada, they have stopped using the term "contemporary" to describe the new developments in dance, and are using the terminology "Danses nouvelles" instead. The term "contemporary dance" has been used for many years to describe the new currents in dance, but the terminology is no longer correct, as other forms of dance with strong roots in old traditions and heritage are thriving, and continue to speak to audiences around the world, thus contemporary.
- Jai Govinda (May 15, 2012)

Interesting to know this "new take" on Indian classical styles of dance in Canada. The point is, in Canada they still need to categorise it separately calling it "Danses nouvelles" if not "Contemporary." A few days back, a French cameraperson told me, Pina Bausch is no more "Contemporary," she is old to be called “classical." So what decides something is contemporary -- 'form' or 'content' or both?
- Anonymous (May 17, 2012)

Any dance form to be aesthetically pregnant with meaningful message must satisfy the basic criteria i.e. of beauty, symmetry, pleasing to the mind, heart and soul. To the cultured human being, all these are manifestations of the surge of creativity from those whose spirits were touched with divinity, humility and humanity. That is what all art is about. Ancient and contemporary are skin-deep.
- Hasmukh Desai, Navsari, Gujarat

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