Astad Deboo

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Astad Deboo is an indian contemporary performance artist and choreographer, he has training in kathak and kathakali. He uses this base to create an unique fusion of dance with his choreography. In his career he has performed with many famous artists such as Pina Bausch, Alison Becker Chase and also with pink floyd. He has been awarded Sangeet Natak Akadami Award in 1996 and Padma Shri in 2007.

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I got a chance of covering his recent show for Tehelka magazine,  and got to meet him personally. I was little tensed as it was my first shoot, but once i reached there i was calmed down. I had to take a profile shot of his, Rehearsal shots and few other shots from the actual show. The show is called ‘Interpreting Tagore’, its a beautiful interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Poems through the performance for his 150th birth anniversary. For this show he has collaborated with Salaam Balak Trust and he has been working with young artist. These artists come from various background and their main interested was Bollywood dance when they joined his Academy. But after intense training of two week you can see how gracefully they move! The performance was incredible, it sort of reminded me of The forum theater festival i attended two year ago in calcutta, the giant puppets and their movements were incredible. Here is my favorite poem from the performance: Bengali Script যদি তোর ডাক শুনে কেউ না আসে তবে একলা চলো রে। একলা চলো, একলা চলো, একলা চলো, একলা চলো রে॥ যদি কেউ কথা না কয়, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা, যদি সবাই থাকে মুখ ফিরায়ে সবাই করে ভয়— তবে পরান খুলে ও তুই মুখ ফুটে তোর মনের কথা একলা বলো রে॥ যদি সবাই ফিরে যায়, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা, যদি গহন পথে যাবার কালে কেউ ফিরে না চায়— তবে পথের কাঁটা ও তুই রক্তমাখা চরণতলে একলা দলো রে॥ যদি আলো না ধরে ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা, আলো না ধরে যদি ঝর বাদলে আঁধার রাতে দুয়ার ধেয়ে ঘরে- তবে বজ্রানলে আপন বুকের পাঁজরা জ্বালিয়ে একলা জ্বলো রে।। Translation into English Here is the translation in prose of the Bengali original rendered by Rabindranath Tagore himself. If they answer not to thy call walk alone. If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall, O thou unlucky one, open thy mind and speak out alone. If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness, O thou unlucky one, trample the thorns under thy tread, and along the blood-lined track travel alone. If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm, O thou unlucky one, with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart and let it burn alone.

By Rabindranath

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