With a personal archive of over 3,00,000 pictures on dance, Shobha Deepak Singh, director, Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra, has possibly captured each and every genre of Indian dance form with her camera.
According to her, it’s the movement and motion along with costume and expression that makes for a great shot. And a subtle juxtaposition of these factors is very apparent in her photography. Today, Singh will be opening a photography show of 65 photographs from her collection at Visual Arts Gallery.
“My camera is my third eye. I don’t use any flash or tripod. For me its just pure photography and that’s the soul of each my photographs,” says Singh. Titled Dancescapes, the photographs feature stalwarts such as Pandit Birju Maharaj, Sonal Mansingh, Uma Sharma to younger artists such as Asavari Mazumdar, Sharmistha Mukherjee and Rajendra Gangani.
Singh’s tryst with camera began at a very early age. “I used the Roliflex camera as a child but in 1969 I bought a professional camera to capture Bhartiya Kala Kendra productions and since then there was no looking back,” says Singh, who considers her solo show by Ebrahim Alkazi in 1996 as a turning point in her life.
Curated by art historian Alka Pande, the current exhibition will also see a book launch. The book is an extension to the exhibition with around 250 photographs and contributions by Pande, photojournalist Dilip Mehta, dancer Justin Mccarthy and scholar Kapila Vatsyayan.
“Singh’s passion has led her to become an insightful archivist of some of the most significant performers in the country. The exhibition and the book work together as a monument to Singh as a visual documenter,” says Pande.
Catch it here
What: Dancescapes, a photography show
Where: Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
On till: April 2
Timings: 10am to 7pm
Nearest Mtero Station: Khan Market on the violet line