Ancient Indian Dances Transformed in the Diaspora

September 23, 2006

Source: Toronto Star

On September 23, 2006 the Toronto Star reported, "More than 100 dancers from seven countries will perform at the 10-day Kalanidhi dance festival, which kicked off at Harbourfront yesterday and highlights ancient Indian dance forms including Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Chhau. The twist? Try Bharatanatyam blended with ballet or Zulu dance. Maybe the Ramayana told from a feminist perspective. Or, highlighting the growing worldwide popularity of Indian dance, a troupe composed entirely of Japanese dancers. Troupes from India, South Africa, Malaysia, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., as well as Canada, will present dance based on modern interpretations of the Indian epics or blend traditional Indian styles with Western or African dance forms... The festival also presents workshops and talks by international scholars and critics, examining issues such as how to remain true to tradition while giving full scope to creativity."