“Eternal Embrace” filmed at Mumbai’s National Centre for the Performing Arts to be released May 29
Audiences across the country and around the world will for the first time be able to stream a complete live performance of the legendary Astad Deboo, considered one of the pre-eminent figures in contemporary dance in India, when his classic performance “Eternal Embrace” is released on performing arts streaming service Cennarium May 29. The release will follow Deboo’s live performances at the LaMaMa Moves! Dance Festival in New York May 25-26.
The performance of “Eternal Embrace” to be released on Cennarium was filmed live at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, considered India’s premier cultural institution. A preview of the performance can be seen below:
“This is the first time I have made one of my performances available to audiences through a streaming service,” said Deboo. “I am hoping people who cannot attend one of my performances in-person will now be able to see my work and hopefully enjoy the art form.”
“Eternal Embrace” is choreographed and performed by Deboo with music composed and played by noted Japanese performer Yukio Tsuji. This original dance is inspired by the poem “Maati,” written by Sufi poet Hazrat Bulleh Shah. Embodying the poem’s central themes, the piece explores the tensions between annihilation and infinity and both the ephemeral and material worlds. Tsuji’s musical accompaniment on zither, shakuhachi flute and percussion is an original work composed specifically for the performance.
“Astad Deboo has had a significant impact not only on contemporary dance in India, but on the entire performing arts community around the world,” said Themis Gomes, executive director of Cennarium. “By making this performance available on Cennarium, we are hoping to bring his artistry to audiences who otherwise might not have the opportunity to see his work.”
Astad Deboo is a pioneer of contemporary dance with a career that has spanned almost 50 years. He has performed to sold-out audiences in more than 70 countries around the world. In the 1970s his innovative style was seen by Indians as too western while westerners judged it as not Indian enough. By the 1990s, audiences came to recognize Deboo as forward thinking and progressive and quickly embraced his unique style and dance form. His stunning signature style is characterized by intense focus, concentration and technical virtuosity along with a distinctively Indian aesthetic of evoking emotion. Today contemporary Indian Dance has Deboo’s unique stamp on it. His significant legacy includes collaboration with countless visual artists, musicians, puppeteers and dancers.