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Desi arts lure foreign artistes

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 18:44 IST

Who says interest in Indian classical dances is on the decline? They are in fact reinventing themselves and spreading across boundaries.

From Poland to France, Belgium, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Romania, the list is endless where Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odissi are becoming popular.

"Indian classical dance is very popular in Tokyo. It is about one's inner self unlike western dances," says Masako Ono from Japan who has been learning Odissi since 1996 in India.

Sharon Lowen who hails from USA has been in India for the past 33 years and has mastered Manipuri, Odissi and Chau dance forms. "Art comes from the heart. It does not depend on techonlogy as much as we do," Lowen says.             

"Indian classical dance is very popular in Tokyo. It is about one's inner self unlike western dances," says Masako Ono from Japan who has been learning Odissi since 1996 in India.

An exemplary artist devoted to Indian dance is Isabelle Anna from France who started training in Bharatnatyam at the age of five. Her parents started Indian Cultural Centre in France even before she was born. "Here people are interessted in west. There, I grew up watching Indian dances," she says.

Giving an insight into the popularity of Bharatnatyam in France, Anna says, "Its quite popular there. Lots of French artists learn Bharatyam and people can even tell you the mistakes when you perform. But I found my calling in Kathak after learning Bharatnatyam for 15 long years."

"They are creditable. I make it a point not to miss any of the performances of Indian arts by the foreign artistes in the capital," says a keen Indian artiste Prabhawati Phadke, now in her early 80s.

"Indian art is not inborn in these foreign artistes. But the devotional sincerity with which they learn is commendable," says Indian tabla player Deboshish Ashilkari who accompanies Pizana in his performances.

"Indian art is not inborn in the foreign artistes. But the devotional sincerity with which they learn is commendable," says Indian tabla player Deboshish Ashilkari.

Some of the foreign artistes even prefer to explore some new areas of work where they try to mingle foreign art into the Indian dance.

"People in India ask me to show something of Japan. So I present contemporary pieces in which I give glimpses of the place where I come from," says Masako Ono from Japan, an Odissi dancer.

"Though I will continue with Odissi just because I love it. But I want to collaborate with other foreign artiste to come up with something more contemporary," Ono says.

The foreign artistes do shows all over the globe and are thus making Indian art go places with its popularity. "Indian dance is famous all over. Often I have performed in South Korea and gained much appreciation," says Kim Eun Jung who has been learning Kathak for past eight years in India.

 

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