Sunday January 19, 2020
Home India Choreography ...

Choreography merges the Afro-Cuban and Indian culture

0
//
Image source: defenceforumindia.com

Growing up in India, choreographer Ranjana Warier knew little about Afro-Cuban culture.

“I knew Cuba existed. That was it,” she recalls with a laugh. “I knew there was Cuba, and I knew there was Africa, but I had no exposure whatsoever.”

Today, Warier is the artistic director of “Surya: The Eternal Rhythm,” a project that merges Afro-Cuban and Indian cultures through dance, poetry and music. The show, a 2014 winner of a Knight Arts Challenge grant by the Knight Foundation, will take place Saturday, April 2, at the Wolfson Campus Auditorium at Miami Dade College.

“We all might talk differently, and we might portray things differently, but when you look deep down, it appears to be the same human spirit shining through different kinds of lights,” she says. “That is actually very encouraging, especially in today’s world. Many of us think we’re quite different, and that’s where conflicts start. But when you start understanding diversity a little bit better, you realize how close we are.”

The project started with a poem by Miami-based poet Adrian Castro, who often writes about Afro-Caribbean culture, history and myths. Lissette Mendez, director of Miami Book Fair International, introduced Warier to Castro’s poetry, and his work immediately absorbed her.

She was so moved by one poem, titled “Clay, Chalk and Charcoal” and inspired by the African religion Yoruba, that she based a new choreography on it.

“I lost track of how many times I read it. It’s a like a Renoir, [in] that the longer you look, you start seeing the details and all the different things,” Warier says. “I read it over and over, and each time I felt I was adding one more piece of the puzzle, not knowing what I was putting together. It seemed it had many layers, and as a dancer, I could just feel the rhythm.”

Warier describes her choreography as a “visualization of Afro-Caribbean poetry through Indian dances.” She uses classical and folk Indian styles, not Bollywood. Her show also features the Miami-based Afro-Cuban dance company IFE-ILE. Castro will read the poem before the show, and a panel discussion on the creation of the project will follow the performance.

While developing “Surya,” Warier says she was surprised by how many similarities she found between the two cultures.

“I just want people not to be afraid to collaborate with people who might look very different from you,” Warier says. “Maybe you use that experience to understand their cultures, and hopefully that brings more tolerance. And if not for anything else, it’s good to know more about what else is out there.”

Credits:  Barbara Corbellini Duarte

Next Story

Dancers in our Country Struggle a Lot: Varun Dhawan

Bollywood Actor Varun Dhawan says India will take over global dance scene in next 10 years

0
Varun Dhawan
Bollywood Actor Varun Dhawan feels that India is one of the best countries when it comes to dance. Wikimedia Commons

Actor Varun Dhawan will next be seen in the dance movie “Street Dancer 3D”, and is these days heaping praise on the dancing talent of the country. He claims over the next ten years, India will take over the global dance scene.

“The kind of talent Indian dancers have, I can say proudly we are one of best countries when it comes to dance. In the next 10 years, India is going to take over the dance scene. Dancers in our country struggle a lot because dance never used to be considered as a profession,” said Varun Dhawan, at the launch of the song “Garmi” from “Street Dancer 3D” in Mumbai. He was accompanied by co-actor Nora Fatehi, the film’s director Remo D’Souza and producer Lizelle D’Souza.

He added: “I have spent so much time with dancers — and Remo sir is one of them — because he started as a background dancer. It gets really tough when parents of dancers or society don’t look at dance as a career. They (Parents) feel that their kids are damaging their family’s reputation by dancing because it is not work.

Varun_Dhawan
“Dancers in our country struggle a lot because dance never used to be considered as a profession,” said Varun Dhawan. Wikimedia Commons

I feel that it’s work. They (dancers) travel to train in the morning and then reach their dancing venues. Sometimes they practice on the road, so this film is dedicated to all the dancers because if you can feel the music then anybody can dance.”

“Street Dancer 3D” will clash with the Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari-directed “Panga”, starring Kangana Ranaut, on January 24, about which Varun said: “Ashwiny and (her husband and filmmaker) Nitesh sir are people I have met on a few occasions. Kangana (Ranaut) is someone I have known for a lot of years and I admire her work. I feel both films are very different and we are in 2020, so I think we shouldn’t think about box-office clash. I feel people should watch both the films. This film (‘Street Dancer 3D’) genuinely marks my return to doing films for kids. For the longest time, I did not made a film for kids and when I say kids, there is a kid inside all of us so. So, this film is for all of you. I hope kids and parents will have a good time watching the film.”

“Street Dancer 3D” highlights India-Pakistan issues through the scope of dance and music.

Also Read- “Stop Considering Acid-Attack Victim as Bechari”, Says Director Meghna Gulzar

Talking about the film’s message, Varun said: “Our characters in the film are dancing for India, and (they are) Pakistani immigrants. I think your motive behind being a dancer matters, and it drove me to do the film. Dance is not only for enjoyment but through the medium you can express a lot and you can change lives. In our country, when a kid is born or at birthday parties and at weddings, we dance a lot. I feel we are a very expressive dancing nation.”

“Street Dancer 3d” stars Varun Dhawan with Shraddha Kapoor, Nora Fatehi, and Prabhu Deva. (IANS)