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US troupe turns Indian buildings into aeriel dance floors

Dancing on air, literally, a US-based troupe is set to execute gravity defying vertical dance moves atop iconic buildings in India one each in Hyderabad and in Delhi.

delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2010 13:27 IST

Dancing on air, literally, a US-based troupe is set to execute gravity defying vertical dance moves atop iconic buildings in India one each in Hyderabad and in Delhi.

Project Bandaloop from San Francisco creates peculiar dance routines that combine moves inspired by the sport of climbing and rappelling, is currently in India rehearsing for their performances atop the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad and the Jeevan Bharati LIC building in Delhi's Connaught Place.

"The event is presented by the American Centre as part of a follow up event of public diplomacy after the recent visit of US President Barack Obama," says Sanjeev Bharghava, creative director, Seher, which along with Delhi Tourism are the event's local producers.

In Hyderabad the troupe is working alongside the 'Society to Save the Rocks,' a mixed group of photographers, artists and environmentalists which has been working since 1992 to preserve and protect the spectacular ancient granite formations of the Deccan Plateau - a natural wonder of stony ridges and hillocks shaped into picturesque balancing forms.

"We had performed in Mumbai last year for a private by invitation event and also in Nanda Devi in the Himalayas. Amelia our director was passionate about our performing again in India and this is part of our continued efforts to bring innovative art to new audiences," Thomas Cavanagh, Director Operations, Bandaloop told PTI over phone.

Founded in 1991, Project Bandaloop performs in natural and urban settings, in theatres, halls, tower, bridges, skyscrapers, mountains - to create something original with each performance. It is the first company in the world exploring the art form, which fuses movement with mountaineering techniques.

In the urban setting of Delhi at the glass, stone and metal LIC building designed by Charles Correa in the 1980s,the group with seven to eight dancers is scheduled to perform acts titled "Triple Dress", "Men's Rope Play", "Flags", "Inverted Duets" (quartet free hanging from truss, entered from above), "Swing with Me" etc in a variety of combinations.

The US Embassy's Cultural Affairs Officer Michael Macy, says, "Bandaloop's style is also in a sense its substance. In presenting this extremely non-traditional group, we want to focus on the potential of the human mind to explore, redefine and cross boundaries."

"Ours is a very unique dance form. We focus on raising the bar on vertical dancing to a new level and also bringing about consciousness about the environment we perform in. Any trained dancer with a sense of direction can do these acts," says Cavanagh.

The group, which has toured Singapore, Macaw and Thailand in Asia says it would plan to come for more performances in India.

The troupe is scheduled to perform their aerial dances at the Golconda Fort on November 21 followed by Delhi on November 26.