By Ashok Dixit, New Delhi, Mar.14 ANI | 7 months ago

Audiences were treated to a spectacular display of aerobatic mastery by Australian and Indian aerial and acrobatic dance artists at New Delhi's Kamani Auditorium on Thursday evening.

The show was titled "Aakashan", and was a collaboration between the Kalakar Trust, a non-profit organisation working to improve the lives of traditional Indian artists in Delhi's slums, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Australian High Commission in Delhi and Carly Sheppard, an indigenous Australian contemporary and traditional dancer.

The physical theatre show included aerial dance performances with the help of specialist equipment such as ropes, trapezes and aerial silk.

Hanging six metres high in the air, the dancers used their strength, grace and flexibility to create a scene of pure wonder.

Australia's High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling had earlier welcomed the show to Delhi.

"This performance will be a wonderful showcase of virtuosity and skill from both Australian and Indian artists, and I'm sure audiences will be both moved and astonished," Suckling said.

The show was choreographed by Vikram Mohan, and directed by Catherine Daniel, leader of the Vertical Circus, an organisation which empowers people from low-income backgrounds by teaching them circus skills and physical theatre.

"Audiences will admire feats of daring and high level artistry in a show which merges powerful Indian motifs with the strong physicality of Australian aerial arts," Ms. Daniel said.

She further stated: "This cultural exchange imbues the show with a huge amount of creative energy. We learn different skills from each other, share stories, creative impulses, ideas and ways of doing things."

Catherine Daniel was supported by the Australian International Cultural Council (AICC) to develop this production. The AICC is the Australian Government's key cultural diplomacy body.

Daniel said the purpose of the project was to impart knowledge of aerial dance and physical theatre to the artists the Kalakar Trust supports.

"It aims to fuse these art forms with the Indian artists' existing skills in traditional and contemporary forms," she said.

Apart from the show at Kamani Auditorium, Aakashan had four other professional shows in schools and other venues.

(Posted on 14-03-2014)

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