Astad Deboo has been described as a pioneer of modern dance in India. He has extensive training in the Kathak and the Kathakali styles (the Indian classical dance forms). Astad Deboo trained in the Martha Graham dance technique and was an apprentice under Pina Bausch of the Wuppertal Dance Company and Alison Chase of the Pilobolus Dance Company. Along with these and other experiences with various dance companies in Japan and Indonesia, he has created a dance theatre style of his own.
Astad Deboo has given command performances for the royal families of Japan and Thailand, performed with Pink Floyd at the Chelsea Town Hall in London, choreographed and performed a site specific work on the Great Wall of China and was commissioned by Pierre Cardin to create a dance for the legendary Maya Plissetskaya – prima ballerina of the Bolshoi ballet company.
He is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award – an honour given by the Govt. of India in recognition for his contribution to contemporary dance.
For the last 16 years, Astad has been working with deaf performers in India, USA, Mexico and Hong Kong. He has collaborated with Indian martial arts practitioners, puppeteers, actors and musicians, creating distinct and innovative works across many genres.
INVENTURES’S TRYST WITH CONTEMPORARY DANCE – ASTAD DEBOO
On February 2nd, 2012, Mr. Deboo and his troop were welcomed to our school, Inventure Academy to share their talents and their journey through dance. The program began with a breathtaking story titled “Breaking the boundaries” which was about a germinating seed growing into a young tree. The dance routine captured the journey through slow and graceful movements with intense concentration.
The next performance titled “Defying Gravity” was a fascinating study of grace, control and poise. Trust and honesty were the key highlights of this performance, with daring acts, which defied gravity and thereby enthralled the audience.
We were fortunate to have witnessed the beautiful performance of Padmashree Astad Deboo himself in the next performance called the Navarasa.
The final performance was a fast rendition performed by his disciples that echoed their dance styles before they were part of his dance troupe. The robotic moves by Astad Deboo that began this piece set the pace for the rest of the dance, which was a blend of energy and rhythm that reverberated through the school. The hushed silence, with which his performance was received by the students, was a testimonial to the quality of this performance.
As a mark of appreciation, we at Inventure Academy were honored to present our “honour caps” with badges to represent the Astad Deboo award for exceptional contribution to dance and movement, which is an award given to talented dancers every year during Awards Day. It was a great privilege to have such accomplished dancer perform for us and share this passion for dance that has inspired him for 58 years.
Anushri Pendiala and Payal Kela,