Kathak by Chinese, kathakali by German at global fest

New Delhi, July 23 (Calcutta Tube) Bharatnatyam by a Malaysian and a South African, kathak by a Chinese dancer and a German performing the kathakali dance-drama form – eight exponents of Indian classical dance cutting across religious and geographical divides showcase their talent in a three-day international festival here Aug 2-4.

The festival to be presented by the Indian Council For Cultural Relations (ICCR) at the Kamani Auditorium will host dancers from Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia, Germany, China and Mauritius.

It will open with a ‘Sutra Dance’ recital by Ramli Ibrahim’s troupe from Malaysia and close with a unique short composite group performance by seven solo dancers choreographed by noted Indian kathak dancer Saswati Sen, a communique issued by ICCR said.

ICCR president Karan Singh will inaugurate the festival Aug 2.

‘The 2010 edition of the festival will be unlike last year when we invited classical dancers of foreign origin based in India to perform. This year, the dancers are from across the globe. Indian classical dance forms, especially bharatnatyam, is popular abroad. Practitioners worldwide are experimenting with interesting fusions of Indian and western dance genres,’ said ICCR director general Suresh Goel.

Malaysian dancer and choreographer Ramli Ibrahim, who will open the festival, is a Muslim by faith. Feted globally, he is an exponent of bharatnatyam and odissi. As a young cadet at the Royal Military College in Malaysia, Ramli won a scholarship in engineering.

South African dancer Nhlanhla Vincent Zwane, who will perform Aug 3, is hailed as one of the finest exponents of fusion bharatnatyam, Zulu and Afro dance.

Irina Strakhovenko, who will perform Aug 3, is the first ‘Kuchipudi dancer, teacher and choreographer in Russia’.

Zhang Jhingui from China, christened Shanu by her Indian dance teacher, was one of the first Chinese women to learn Indian classical dance. She has been teaching contemporary Indian dance to Chinese youth for the last 20 years.

She will present a kathak recital Aug 4.

Isa Jacobi, a kathakali dancer from Germany, has studied the dance form since 1979. She has trained under the tutelage of Sadanam Krishnam Kutty in Kerala and is known for her fusion choreography combining kathakali with Greek tragedy.

She is the lone woman practising this ancient dance form in Germany. Jacobi will perform Aug 4.

–Ind-Asian News Service


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