The South Asian Times

24 October 2018 01:16 AM

Top Scottish dance theatre reaches out to India

By Madhusree Chatterjee

New Delhi, Oct 21 Indian audiences bred on classical dance might find the free-flowing work of the Scottish Dance Theatre unusual, but the troupe, one of the best in Scotland, has deliberately chosen three of its most futuristic choreography to guide the audience here through the latest of modern dance innovations in Britain, the artistic director of the dance company says.

The company, which is on a four-city tour of India, will perform Oct 30 at the Delhi International Arts Festival. They will also be performing at Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai.

"We are bringing works by three of the UK's most talented and exciting dance-makers - Liv Lorent, Hofesh Shechter and James Wilton - each with its own distinctive style and flavour. The acts are full of emotion, prowess and adrenalin in mixed doses," James MacGillivray, the acting artistic director of the Scottish Dance Theatre, told IANS in an interview.

"I was always fascinated by the difference in audiences across the globe for they often tell us more about the works than we ever knew," MacGillivray said. He looks to India as one such "audience".

The company will host skill-sharing workshops with local dance troupes in India for cross-pollination of ideas.

The Scottish Dance Theatre, originally known as the Dundee Rep Dance Company, is one of the most respected community and professional dance ensembles in Scotland with several national awards in its kitty.

The dancers believe that dance is about people which speaks straight to the heart of the audience, MacGillivray said. As a result, all the three choreographies try to connect to viewers with emotions and body language.

The ensemble combines movements with story-telling - two arts that make up a dance theatre.

MacGillivray said that as an outsider, he felt that "Indian contemporary dance has chosen not to simply adopt outside influences and forms but wants to evolve naturally".

"It wants to stay true to its own roots in traditional Indian dance forms and martial arts. I admire this. It makes for a rich foundation full of authenticity and honesty," he said.

The Theatre members are excited that they "will have time to work with some dance companies and artists in India in skill-sharing sessions such as with the Attakkalari dancers and with (danseuse) Aditi Mangaldas".

"These are engagements where our artists become inspired and informed. I will be fascinated to learn more about the Indian artistic influences, and to see how our companies can work together in the future in artistic exchange and collaboration," MacGillivray said.

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at

--Indo-Asian News Service

Update: 21 Oct, 2012