Sapphire Creations presents
ICCR Kolkata
March 3 & 4, 2018

February 24, 2018

Sapphire Creations Dance Company, Kolkata, completes its 25th Anniversary year in March 2018. This has been an eventful year and to round it all up, Sapphire proposes a 2-day meet in March to talk about directions, possibilities and developments in Indian dance.

After the historic East West Dance Encounter of 1984 followed by another in 1985 both organised by George Lechner in Mumbai, and his event in Delhi in 1993, called 'New Directions in Indian Dance’ along with the 'Nava Nritya Samaroh' in Delhi in 1989 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, much water has flowed under the bridge. Dance reality shows have taken over the minds of young dancers, many festivals of contemporary dance now occur around the country and many foreign folk and classical forms have found their home in India. With now Marg Magazine celebrating Contemporary Indian Dance: New Creative Choreography in India and the Diaspora in June 2017, there is so much that needs to be collated and encountered on one platform. While we are close to nearing 100 years of Indian Contemporary Dance it is time that we encounter each other once again.

Sapphire presents SAMABHAVANA, a platform to celebrate, debate and dissent on the yesterday, today and tomorrow of Indian Contemporary Dance. The event plans to bring together dancers, choreographers, scholars, critics and researchers on one stage to talk, demonstrate and showcase these new meanders that dance has taken in this country. Planned as a 2 day event this event would aspire to bring a whole generation of dance-makers and thinkers into perspective for the future. The event is being organised in association with the Ministry of Culture and ICCR, Kolkata.

The project plans to organize itself as

PROVOCATIONS: Providing a context to the Samabhavana conference and tracing the journey of new directions in Indian Dance in the last millennium and heading to the future. What is Indian Dance and what can be the new directions? Is there anything ever new when it comes to the body? How does the world perceive Indian dance? What is the idea of India that these directions contain and portray?

Sadanand Menon

Ashok Vajpeyi

By Sadanand Menon on 3rd March
By Ashok Vajpeyi on 4th March

EXPLORATIONS: Seminars/Talks: A space for debate and discussion on key chosen subjects relevant to the directions Indian dance has taken in the last 30 years and Future trends: Directions and reasons.

Exploration 1: How are we different yet same!
CONVERSATIONS ON FORMING FORM: SAMENESS, DIFFERENCE AND FINDING ONE IN THE OTHER: We are part of a tradition where forms are handed down, where continuity is vitally important. How does one re-engage with the idea of form, re-enter a loaded and already overpowering terrain in search of something that has been lost or something that has not yet been found? One of the central concerns of contemporary art movements in India has always been how to create form to critically comment on form itself. Why is a critical engagement with form necessary especially in and Indian context?

Guide: Vikram Iyengar


Bharat Sharma

Dr Aishika Chakraborty

Krishna Devanandan

Dr. Mitul Sengupta

Dr. Sunil Kothari

Dr. Urmimala Sarkar

Exploration 2: How do we present and represent!
Looking at the politics of representation in the dance ecology. For instance, what are the subtle gradations of difference between 'Indian contemporary dance' and 'contemporary dance from India'. How do dancers choose to represent themselves? How does the market influence how dancers make, articulate and present work?

Guide: Ranjana Dave


Jayachandran Palazhy

Vanessa Maria Mirza

Paramita Saha

Madhuri Upadhya

Leela Venkataraman

Exploration 3: How do we resist, assert and articulate!
Where does one locate resistance in a performing body? How does the body acquiesce to form and dissent from it? How does it negotiate the boundaries of public and private, personal and performative? Where does one read dissent in performance – is it in the body or in the contexts that frame the body? What is the relationship between the political and the aesthetic in performance making? Isn’t resistance at the heart of all contemporary practice? Is performance inherently a political act?

Guide: Mandeep Raikhy


Surjit Nongmeipakam

Maya Krishna Rao

Sudarshan Chakravorty

Daminee Basu

NEGOTIATIONS: Lec-Demonstrations: A space for demonstrations and sharing that discuss techniques, explorations, new initiatives, shifts

Negotiation 1:

 Terence Lewis
In a ‘Negotiation’ at Sambhavana on Saturday 3 March, India’s leading dancer, choreographer & TV judge Terence Lewis will retrace his journey charting the evolution of his early India inspired, Western technique, influenced movement language to the full-fledged Indo-Contemporary that is his hallmark today. The live lec-dem will unfurl the natural evolution of the technique through time, highlighting the developments in form brought about by various external stimuli and internal impulses. Using the example of his current production, the internationally-acclaimed dance theatre piece The Kamshet Project, Terence will offer insights into his dance company’s 20 year career. The Kamshet Project has an unorthodox conception, and is a devised rather than choreographed piece. Terence will show how its unusual genesis has made it particularly hard-hitting and relevant, in form as well as themes. Practitioners and enthusiasts will gain understanding about the shape-shifting nature of the dance form, as well as the power and relevance of dance.

Negotiation 2:

Aditi Mangaldas
A perspective from a classical dancer’s viewpoint in which she shares her journey and the desire for a simultaneous process of conservation and exploration in the classical dance style of Kathak. At the same time having the desire to explore beyond the style and the journey while attempting to find a dance vocabulary that she calls contemporary dance based on Kathak.

TRANSFORMATION: A conversation: Daksha Sheth and Tao Issaro

Daksha Sheth

Tao Issaro

Nandita Palchoudhuri

Turning the Pages with Nandita Palchoudhuri: A journey well-travelled and a new one beginning, a struggle of expression and freedom of art-making.

PROPOSITIONS: Showcases: Select artists representing iconic and revolutionary movements in Indian dance to perform on at the event:

Hemabharathy Palany

Sharmila Biswas

Surjit Nongmeipakam

Geeta Chandran

Padmini Chettur

Astad Deboo
Hemabharathy Palany, Bangalore performs YASHTI
Sharmila Biswas, Kolkata performs EVOKING RADHA
Surjit Nongmeipakam, Manipur performs TO
Geeta Chandran, Delhi performs UNURTH
Padmini Chettur, Chennai performs BEAUTIFUL THING 2
Astad Deboo, Mumbai performs LIMINAL, BELOW THE EDGE

Sapphire Creations Dance Company is Eastern India’s only experimental dance company striving to develop an organic, radical, dynamic and alternative idiom of movement. With a forte for innovation the ensemble is fresh, young and exudes a ready awareness of contemporary global concerns. Sapphire has been performing with a new idiom for the last 25 years across the world. Some countries visited are Malaysia, Spain, Israel, Czech Republic, UK, Singapore, Australia, Austria, Germany, Thailand, Italy, Bangladesh, Canada, Sri Lanka, Poland, USA and India. Sapphire’s work approaches issues of gender, art, relationships, society, polity, consumerism and HIV through a global perspective, South Asian sensitivity and an experimental body stylistic. Beyond dance Sapphire thrusts on community building for prevention and awareness of social issues, promotion of contemporary arts, and dance therapy for different communities. The LINK THE ARTS movements with sub-initiatives like:

o    InArtSync for campus mobilization,
o    Quarterly Arts Series for collaborative ventures for company and academy dancers
o    International alternative arts festival INTERFACE now due for its 10th edition in 2018
o    INCRES International Choreographer’s Residency for company and academy dancers
are some of the consistent efforts by Sapphire to create a niche for the contemporary arts in India.Currently Sapphire has both School and Repertory sections.

Register for Samabhavana at:


Info: /

The event is being presented in association with Ministry of Culture, Govt of India and ICCR.
Powered by Orion Pest Solutions.  
Hospitality Partner: The Kenilworth, Outdoor Partner: Eden Media, Karukrit
Radio Partner: 91.9 Friends FM, Supported by Addlife Caring Minds, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Mukharochak, Greentouch Entertainments, Shyamsundar Jewellers, Q Lighting