National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Avid Learning present Multipolis Mumbai: Dance and the City, a panel discussion that will explore the trajectories of dance in Mumbai, the various styles and forms that are being introduced and assimilated into the Mumbai dance landscape, and the influence of social media and global forces on dance in the city. Join Managing Director, Nrityanjali Group and Dance Curator, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival Dr.Anonna Guha, Ballet Teacher and Founder of the Ballet Festival of India Ashifa Sarkar Vasi, Founder and Artistic Director of The Danceworx and Navdhara India Dance Theatre Ashley Lobo, Dancer and Choreographer Astad Deboo and in conversation with Kathak Dancer, Director, Amara Nritya Kala Hansa and Curator, Alchemy & WOW Gauri Sharma Tripathi. This panel of practitioners and experts will examine the evolution and democratisation of dance culture in the city and analyse how western colonial influences and Bollywood have shaped classical and traditional temple dance forms, as well as spawned new ones. They will also examine alternative forms of dance in the city that are gaining prominence as a result of a burgeoning street culture, as well as the rise of dance education and academies in the city. Explore Mumbai’s thriving and colourful dancescape, and hear expert opinions from the frontrunners of the dance sphere!
Ashifa Sarkar Vasi began ballet at age 6 and trained for 14 years in the USA. She received intensive summer training at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City and the reputed Rock School for Dance Education (Pennsylvania Ballet) in Philadelphia. Performing for 11 years, her experience ranged from local community engagements to full scale pre-professional performances, including keys roles in The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, and multiple original works. Ashifa has been teaching ballet since 1999 and has worked with an array of students: all ages, levels, and abilities in different settings (schools, dance academies, and private studios). She currently teaches professional dancers and private students in Mumbai. Her most recent endeavor in the ballet space is the Ballet Festival of India that aims to promote learning, networking, collaboration and performance opportunities in ballet with an emphasis on artistic and technical excellence. Read more at www.ashifa.net/ballet.Read more
Ashley Lobo is considered one of the spearheading figures of International dance in India. He is the Founder & Artistic Director of The Danceworx Academy and Navdhara India Dance Theatre. His career in performing arts comprises of over 32 years of performing, choreographing, and teaching - both in India and Internationally. He trained in Sydney, Australia at the Bodenweiser Dance Centre. Ashley has developed Prana Paint™, a unique sensitizing approach that explores movement through yoga, breath, connectivity, and touch. This unique technique has put him on the international map and has led to him being invited overseas to conduct workshops and to choreograph. The latest being his full length works with Ballet Chemnitz (Germany) and the Linz Ballet, TanzLin.z (Austria). Ashley has choreographed extensively for stage and cinema, with over 30 feature films and as many stage productions to his credit. He has also been a judge on India’s Dancing Superstar, a competitive dance reality programme on Star Plus.Read more
Astad Deboo is a contemporary dancer and choreographer, who pioneered an innovative style of Indian dance that employs his training in Indian classical dance forms of Kathak as well as Kathakali to create a dance form that’s unique to him. He is also a pioneer of modern dance in India. He describes his style as “contemporary in vocabulary and traditional in restraints.” 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 and his collaboration with visual artists, musicians globally, puppeteers and dancers have been hailed by critics and audiences alike. Astad’s dynamic dance career spans over 50 years, with performances in over 70 countries and includes solo, group and collaborative choreography with performing artists. He has been working with the hearing impaired for 30 years. He has been awarded the Padma Shri and the Creative Dance Award from the Indian Government’s prestigious Sangeet Natak Akamedi, among other awards.Read more
Dr. Anonna Guha is a double doctorate. A Doctorate in Sociology with a Fellowship from Indian Council of Social Science Research on the subject ‘Dance in the urban Culture’ and also a Doctorate in Human Relations & Psychology. Dr. Anonna Guha is the Managing Director of Nrityanjali – the 56-year-old institute of performing arts, education, personality development & management services. Anonna Guha is a Visharad in Kathak, graded artiste of Doordarshan and a recipient of the Menaka Award for Kathak from Mumbai University. Anonna Guha is trained in Hindustani Sangeet, drama, ballroom dancing and performs Folk Dances of India based on her Guru Dr. Tushar Guha’s intensive research of 32 years. She has been performing on stage from the age of two and a half years and has performed in more than 1500 shows across India and the World. Head of Kathak Department at Nrityanjali, she has been the lead dancer for Hima Devi and Nrityanjali’s Reach for the Sun, to celebrate 50 years of India’s independence. Her other dance productions include Kathak Theatre Nritya Shakti, Princess Meera, Confluence (Kathak – Flamenco). She has had the privilege to be trained in Kathak under the expertise of Dr. Tushar Guha, Shri Bireshwar Gautam, Shri Maulik Shah, Smt. Ishira Parikh, Dr. Shveni Pandya, Padmashri Damayanti Joshi and Padmashri Roshan Kumari. Anonna is a TED X speaker on ‘Importance of Performing Arts in Education’. Dr. Guha is the Dance Curator for the Kalaghoda Arts Festival. A corporate trainer for 20 years based on the research work of Management Guru Dr. Tushar Guha, she is a counsellor, a sociologist, and a recipient of the Woman of Substance Award from Young Environmentalists Group Hiranandani Foundation. She is the author of ‘21 Mantras for People Management: Lessons from Buddha, Vivekananda and Gandhi’ published by Indus Source.Read more
Gauri Sharma Tripathi has trained in the classical tradition of Kathak, under the guidance of her Guru and mother, Padma Sharma. Under her company, Amara Nritya Kala Hansa and ANKH Dance UK, she continues to bring events like Dancing under the skies, Kathak Stanzas, and Kathak Collective. The repertory of ANKH continues to bridge the teaching and choreographic journeys between the traditions and the new. Gauri wrote the three-year degree course on Kathak for London Contemporary Dance School, she was also part of the ISTD South Asian dance founding team, faculty and examiner. Presently a visiting faculty at Navdhara India Dance Theatre and The Danceworx, Mumbai. Her choreographic highlights include Polaroid Feet, Sacred Monsters, Ronin and Gnosis for Akram Khan. Gauri has choreographed numerous productions for Akademi, including Coming of Age, Escapade, Waterscapes, Initium, Sapnay, Maya, and Sufi Zen. She has also choreographed the productions Mahabharat and Wah Wah Girls for Sadler’s Wells. Known for grounding her performance in the traditions of Kathak while giving it a contemporary viewpoint, she has toured her own solo pieces including Circa, Waqt, Ishmir, Timelapse, Vyuha, and has collaborated with Shlomo, a beatboxer to create the first Kathak and Beatboxing choir titled Urban Vani in 2006. Gauri has choreographed Bollywood Trip in collaboration with Theatre Republique Denmark for the Olympic season. She has curated The Alchemy Festival for the last nine years and is associated with The Women of the World festival. She has brought a strong South Asian presence in the UK arts scene and is also a choreographer for the Jagriti Yatra, a unique train journey in its 12th year in India. Gauri alongside her mother, Padma Sharma and daughter, Tarini has initiated a three-generation Kathak performance, which sees an unusual blend of the old and new called “Taa, The Beginning.” Her newest choreographic piece, “Bodyline,” which has toured the UK, and her solo piece, “Antahkarna,” looks at Kathak dance in its vivid and varied forms. Gauri has developed a vision to forge a new generation of performers who see themselves as dancers, creators, and entrepreneurs. For her dance is a way of life and it reflects the artistic journey. Dance is her mantra.Read more