An incredibly brave creation, it dealt with how amidst the diversity of cultures in India, people loved integrating over Bharatanatyam. The piece also seemed to symbolize Krishna Shah hybrid vocabulary that opened up the possibilities of what dance could be.
Since she came up with her first piece ‘Arangetram’, Krishna shah has harnessed the movement’s power to tell unusual stories and, in the process, has turned notions about art on their head. She has been establishing on stage an aesthetic nation where realism and surrealism are never in contradiction. With her emotionally honest approach to Arangetram.
Born in Mumbai and trained in Bharatanatyam, Krishna completed her formal education. Beginning with a style defined by her Indian classical sensibilities, she arrived at a powerful and distinctive western dance like Jazz, Contemporary, House, Freestyle languages. Like her, it is multi-rooted, with no trace of conflict of identity.
“When you take dance outdoors, you make the performance accessible to newer audiences. Where people don’t expect to see it, yet encounter it. For the artistes, it means evolving creatively; letting their imagination go beyond the restricted confines of the theater. But care should be taken for the choreography to be site-specific; a part of the whole,” says Krishna.
“For choreographers, the starting point is their own body. You imagine the lines and patterns on yourself before getting the dancers to do them,” says Krishna about her fitness process, an organic progression from one element to another.
Her earliest works might show a stronger influence of her training in Bharatanatyam; now, it’s not easy to spot that. “I wanted to create a narrative through which I could tell a vast array of stories, so I moved beyond the Indian classical towards the contemporary. I was fully aware of the risk involved in entering an unknown terrain. But, that’s the adventure,” she points out.
Her Fitness design is now an amalgam of modern dance, aerial silk, Dance Movement Therapy and simple pared down moves. Krishna also enjoys when do direction for song specially composed for every piece. So her important collaborators are composers, including Abhijeet Ghadge, Trushna Joshi and Zahabiya.