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December 13, 2004

Dance to a silent beat

From: Times of India - Mumbai,India - Dec 13, 2004



Astad Deboo is in town to showcase his work with hearing impaired dancers

Many years ago Astad Deboo took a ship, travelling as a stowaway, setting off on a journey of exploration that still continues. When he hitch-hiked around the globe, performing for his living, he absorbed the richness of various cultures and learned the different vocabularies of dance and movement. Those lessons have come to benefit audiences. And, more importantly, enrich the hearing impaired dancers who work and perform with him and who have been given a new voice and language.

"When Bangalore audiences see these dancers they will be exposed to something very different," says Astad. "They will see dancers synchronising to perfection with music they cannot hear. They will be exposed to a new vocabulary, that of hearing impaired dancers."

How is it that he gets these dancers to synchronise? "The present group I am working with are already trained Bharatanatyam dancers. We work in counts of eight. The first step is to get the dancers to learn this and then synchronise. From here we graduate to other counts," says Astad.

While Bangalore musician Amit Heri has composed the music for Astad's Contraposition, Astad Deboo along with his dancers will also be a part of the mega cultural programme of the Deaf Olympics to be held in Melbourne, Australia, in January next year.

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