There is more to dance than performance, says Geeta Chandran

sreelakshmy-govardhanan Kuchipudi dancer Sreelakshmy Govardhanan

She has mesmerised audiences for years, and now ace choreographer and classical dancer Padmashri Geeta Chandran is set to celebrate World Dance Day with budding dancers of India. The internationally acclaimed dancer is curating a two-day show on the occasion of the World Dance Day starting April 28 that will include performances by young dancers along with workshops of renowned artists, all under the same roof.

Shunning the idea of World Dance Day as a mere opportunity to perform, Chandran says, “There is more to dance than performance. I feel it is a very myopic way of looking at dance for merely performance and not offering youngsters a holistic platform which fetches them an opportunity to learn. There are several performers who are not born in the family of dancers and they make a conscious choice to pick up a dance as a profession. So, the widening of the canvas has already happened,” she says.

Calling it a holistic event, Chandran is also inviting art historians, dancers and acclaimed performers to conduct workshops and lectures. Calling it a conscious effort to make it an inter-disciplinary platform, the bharatanatyam dancer says, “We feel that the content of dance is so varied and interesting. There are ample possibilities and unless you give that canvas to youngsters, they will not be able to explore and connect the missing lines and dots. It will then turn out to be repetitive and boring. Lectures and workshops will give that overview. But, World Dance Day is incomplete without performances so for that young dancers will be putting together a great show.”

The performances include Bharatanatyam by Shweta Prachande, Odissi by Monami Nandy, Kathak by Vidyagauri and Kuchipudi by Sreelakshmy Govardhanan. The event will also confer a Lifetime Achievement Award to dance photographer Avinash Pasricha, who comes with an experience of 70 years. While the first day includes a theatre and movement workshop by Anuradha Kapur, on the second day, West Bengal-based Odissi dancer Sharmila Biswas will conduct a special workshop on body preparedness and charee, a specific technique that involves beats, drums and dance.

The event will take place at India International Centre and chairman Sangeet Natak Akademi Dr Shekhar Sen will be the chief guest of the event.