The pioneer of modern dance in India, Astad Deboo invited us to look at Samant’s work anew as he danced to the rhythm of the paintings. Samant loved all forms of art and was almost as passionate a musician as he was an artist.
This evening of dance helped us consider the relationships that have evolved among the various arts, and how each art has enriched the other. It was the concluding event in the series conceived around the exhibition in the gallery -‘Mohan Samant: Paintings’.
Astad Deboo is the pioneer of modern dance in India. He has trained in Kathak and Kathakali – dance styles from both the North and the south of the country.
He studied the Martha Graham dance technique at London and has worked with acclaimed performers like Pina Bausch of the Wuppertal Dance Company and Alison Chase of the Pilobolus. Astad has brought all these different experiences together to create a style that is uniquely his own.
He has been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1996 and Padma Shri in 2007, for his contribution to contemporary dance in India. He has danced on the Great wall of China, performed with Pink Floyd in London, and was commissioned by Pierre Cardin to choreograph a piece for the legendary prima ballerina of the Boshoi ballet company Maya Plissetskaya.
The Astad Deboo Foundation, formed 12 years ago, looks to provide creative training to both the able and the disabled, and to facilitate the artistic development of talented deaf dancers. His most recent achievement was his invitation to Buckingham Palace to inaugurate the UK-India Year of Culture in 2017.