A still from a previous performance of Rhythm Divine II: River Runs Deep, which Deboo will present in Paris. Pic courtesy/Amit Kumar
The excitement evident in his voice, he says, “This is the first time ever that a contemporary dance troupe from India has been invited to represent the country on such a large stage. It is a dream to be performing at the Opéra Bastille, which is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world.”
Deboo will be collaborating with the acclaimed Pung Cholom drummers of Shree Shree Govindajee Nat Sankirtan, Manipur, to perform a piece titled Rhythm Divine II: River Runs Deep. The dance exponent has a long-standing association with the group, having worked with them for over 10 years.
After the Paris performance, the troupe will perform in Lisbon, Portugal, and then move on to Belgrade, before returning to India. Although he has been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1996) and the Padma Shri (2007), Deboo feels that the Indian classical dance community has sidelined him.
“Earlier, big venues such as these would invite only classical dancers, not contemporary folk. But now, the atmosphere is right internationally. After 47 years of dancing professionally, this feels good. My persistence has paid off. I’ve found success,” he ends.
Feathers in his cap
> Astad Deboo has performed at the Great Wall of China, with Pink Floyd in London, and at the 50th anniversary of the American Dance Festival.
> Pierre Cardin commissioned him to choreograph a dance for Maia Plissetskaia, prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet.
> Deboo has performed before the royal families of Japan, Sweden, Bhutan and Thailand.
> He has also been a part of prestigious dance festivals in France.
By Shraddha Uchil | Mid-Day, 22-Sep-2016
Also read: Life and times of Astad Deboo