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Updated: March 7, 2012 12:56 IST

Good old Swan Lake with a modern twist

Madhur Tankha
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Over the years, Swan Lake has evoked different thoughts and images.
The Hindu
Over the years, Swan Lake has evoked different thoughts and images.

For the first time in Delhi, an Indo-French collaborative choreographed project will see various dance forms like Kathak, flamenco, tap dance, classical ballet and classical jazz being performed at the same event at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations here this Wednesday.

Titled “Swan Lake — Revisited”, the project was conceived when Rhythmosaic Dance Company director Mitul Sengupta travelled to France in 2009 to study at a dance institute run by Frenchman Gianin Loringett.

“Known as the father of classical jazz dance, Loringett has vast years of experience with him. He and I had long discussions on how we can come up with a collaborative venture between traditional Indian dance and Western classical tap dance. We both found after extensive research that Kathak and classical jazz dance form have similar body language and hand movements. The project has been choreographed by Loringett, Ronnie Shambik Ghose and myself,” said Dr. Sengupta.

‘The living legend of classical jazz dance' Loringett says: “After a year of conducting workshops, discussions and at times arguments, we have managed to complete this complex project. Through this project, we want to highlight the fact that classical jazz has derived inspiration from Kathak. The importance of this collaboration is to establish a relationship between classical Kathak and classical jazz dance. An ICCR initiative, this is the first time that we are staging this project in Delhi. We have already performed in Kolkata.”

“Swan Lake — Revisited” will be performed by European tap dancer Yorma Loringett, along with Dr. Sengupta in Kathak and flamenco with the Rhythmosaic Dance Company.

According to ICCR Director-General Suresh Goel, almost everyone is familiar with the story of Swan Lake. “Similar stories of bad and good, victory of love over hate abound across the globe irrespective of culture or the geographical areas to which they belong. The French choreographer has guided a French tap dancer and Indian dancers from Rhythmosaic Dance Company, who perform classical jazz dance, classical ballet, Kathak and flamenco to translate the traditional interpretation of Swan Lake into a different genre of dance and music.”

Over the years, Swan Lake has evoked different thoughts and images. “Like a truly great epic, it has never failed to stir human sentiments with joy, passion, love and serenity. Yet, Swan Lake is also about the darkest of human emotions such as lust for power, obsession and greed. Prince Siegfried falls in love with the beautiful Odette, who is turned into a swan by evil sorcerer Von Rothbart when she rejected his advances. Today's Swan Lake talks about the princes and princesses of our world whom we meet and interact with every day. They too have emotions and make sacrifices like our characters,” says one of the organisers.

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