New dimension to dance

CONTEMPORARY APPEAL Danseuse Chandralekha

CONTEMPORARY APPEAL Danseuse Chandralekha  

Recordings of danseuse Chandralekha's productions will be screened at the Alliance Francaise

The Alliance Francaise in collaboration with Magic Lantern, presents a selection of recordings of danseuse Chandralekha's productions from August 21 to 24 , 7 p.m. at the AFM Auditorium at 24, College Road, Nungambakkam. In the 20 years from 1984 to 2004, Chandralekha produced and performed 10 full-length contemporary works which significantly changed the direction of dance in India. Rooted in sources from bharatanatyam, yoga and kalarippayattu, these choreographic works, with imaginative musical accompaniment, demonstrated a need to re-examine tradition from a contemporary point of view. It also sought to create a new content for dance, highlighting the artiste's concern "to be modern on our own terms, and not as a copy of the West."While these works were performed to rousing audience reception in India and abroad and became the yardstick by which Indian dance is evaluated today, it is also a fact that much of it has remained invisible to a larger audience, particularly to the new generation of artistes.Few of Chandralekha's productions have been professionally recorded with archival intent. However, there is a series of casual or amateur performance recordings available, which can give a reasonable idea of the choreographer's attempt. Chandralekha trained in the early 1950s under bharatanatyam Guru Kancheepuram Ellappa Pillai. In the 1960s she moved away from the performing scene to get involved in writing and designing, as well as human rights issues and the feminist movement. After a break of 25 years, she returned to the stage with pioneering works such as "Angika", "Lilavati", "Prana", "Sri", "Yantra", "Mahakal", "Raga", "Sloka" and, the latest, "Sharira".The selection of recordings that will be shown at the Alliance Francaise is as follows: Alarippu/Tillana/Suryanamaskar on August 21; Angika on August 22; Lilavati on August 23; and Excerpts on August 24.Preceding the screenings there will be short introductions by Sadanand Menon. He will also lead the discussions that are to follow.For more details about the event contact the Alliance Francaise at 28279803.

Recommended for you