An Indian dancer who showcased our country’s artistic talent on a global scale and collaborated with the likes of Pink Floyd and Pina Bausch, Astad Deboo was a pioneer of modern dance in India as his unique style was an amalgamation of Indian classical dance and western group dance techniques. The creative genius was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1996 and Padma Shri in 2007, awarded by the Government of India. He led a vivacious life full of purpose and performance; he continued to make strides in the creative realm until his last breath.
An immersive retrospective entitled ‘Breaking Boundaries’ looks at the most compelling parts of his life and takes the viewer on a journey of creative expressions. Architectural Digest notes that the exhibit begins with photographs and anecdotes from the early years that detail the chronology of Astad’s life. One is introduced to his own handwritten notes and diarys of his travels and from there on leans a series of exhibits that attempts to summarise "what it meant to be Astad".
However the most fascinating part of the retrospective has to be the showcase of his costumes. Each one is complemented with some background about the performances and the relevance of their designs. The dancer closely worked with a number of designers such as Krishna Mehta and Jade to create a visual narrative through his clothing. Beyond these striking creations, one can also immerse themselves into the art of his performances through a spin table that allows people to experience Astad’s signature spin for themselves.
You can catch the ongoing exhibit at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival and find more information here.