What better platform than the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival to put up an experimental dance-drama act titled Play It, So 17 Dances About Something.
Polish dance troupe Dada Von Bzdulow Theatre made their debut in Mumbai before an enthusiastic audience, with a performance featuring three agile contemporary dancers — Veszek Bzdyl, 50, Katarzyna Chmielewsua, 40, and Anna Steller, 36.
Their interplay of drama and movement had the audience applauding at their perfectly executed synced jumps and lifts, perfected over 20 years of performing together.
A largely silent act interspersed with music, So 17 Dances… was potent with meaning. Through multiple costume changes, Bzdyl, who plays a man, wrestled with the other two women, who represented the past and the future.
“This is an extraordinary act for us as a troupe too. Through this act, we mark our foray into a territory that we haven’t explored before. We have combined theatre with dance as the former by default empowers the audience with more imagination through interpretation. The act was an attempt to support the culture of theatre, which is losing its audience around the world,” said Bzdyl, founder of the troupe. “Our culture today is dominated by films. We have reduced thought and analysis in our lives.”
Moved by the liquid movements of the dancers, insurance agent Devesh Rastogi, 44, said his whole family had a memorable time. “The performance reflected on the different phases and realities of life. It was a unique concept that my wife and daughter also thoroughly enjoyed,” he added.
Calling the act inspirational, dance section curator Lata Surendra said: “We usually depend on speech and actions, but there are alternative ways of communicating. With dances such as these, one’s imagination takes flight.”
College student Rushil Bhatt, 24, described the performance as moving. “It was a riveting combination of acting, music and dance,” he said.