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Astad Deboo dies; Artists say India lost a cultural treasure – mumbai news


Contemporary Indian dancer Astad Deboo, known for blending Indian and Western dance techniques, died here Thursday, his family said. He was 73 years old and was diagnosed with cancer last month.

Deboo used her training in the Kathak and Kathakali Indian classical dance forms to create a unique fusion dance form.

“He left us in the early morning of December 10, at his home in Mumbai, after a short illness, bravely endured,” Deboo’s family announced on Instagram.

“He leaves behind a formidable legacy of unforgettable performances combined with an unwavering dedication to his art, equaled only by his huge and loving heart that won him thousands of friends and a host of fans,” the post says.

According to Padma Alva, a longtime friend of Deboo and a former PTI journalist, her funeral was a private matter due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“The funeral was held in Worli here at 11 am. It was a private funeral due to COVID restrictions. So only immediate family members were present, ”Alva said.

Deboo stands out for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian.

He once said that there was a time when most Indians viewed his style as “too Western”, while Westerners discovered that it was “not Indian enough.”

His innovative style of Indian dance may have attracted attention in the 1970s and 1980s, but in the 1990s people adopted this new language.

Recalling their bond of more than four decades, Alva said that he has lost a “lifelong friend.” Astad called me a few days ago to say goodbye.

We were in contact every day until Monday when it sank, never to rise again. I lost a 45-year-old friend, a lifelong friend, ”Alva said.

Actor Anupam Kher took to Twitter to pay tribute to the dance icon and wrote that Deboo’s art would be missed.

“The world of modern dance has lost a pioneer and India has lost a cultural treasure. Dear #AstadDeboo, it was a privilege to meet you. He will miss your art, your warm personality, and your infectious smile! Rest in peace my friend! # OmShanti, ”Kher said.

Filmmaker Nandita Das said Deboo still had a lot of dancing to do.

“Too sad. I knew and admired him since I was a child. You still had a lot to offer #AstadDeboo I have lost too many loved ones this year, ”Das wrote.

Describing Deboo as an “inexhaustible source of talent,” musical composer Ehsaan Noorani tweeted that the dancer was a man “pushing the dimensions of dance.” Casting director Tess Joseph said Deboo was not only a generous person, but a “visionary and amazing dancer.” “” When Astad danced, time stopped, “said Joseph.

Born on July 13, 1947 in the Navsari city of Gujarat, the dancer, who studied Kathak with Guru Prahlad Das from an early age, and later Kathakali with Guru EK Pannicker, described his style as “contemporary in vocabulary and traditional in moderation. ”.

With a dance career spanning half a century, she has performed in more than 70 countries, including solo, group and collaborative choreographies with artists, at home and abroad.

Known for his charitable endeavors, Deboo worked with deaf children, both in India and abroad for two decades.

In 2002, he founded the Astad Deboo Dance Foundation, which provided creative training to underserved sections, including people with disabilities.

“He has created a style of dance-theater that successfully assimilates Indian and Western techniques,” reads the Sangeet Natak Akademi award he received in 1995 for his contribution to contemporary creative dance. He also received the Padma Shri in 2007.

Deboo also dabbled in other artistic disciplines, such as film, choreographing for directors such as Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bhardwaj and “Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities” by the legendary painter MF Hussain.

Hindustan Times